Find the Best Workforce for Utility-Scale Solar
Last year, the solar industry was on track to set all-time highs in installation and employment—then the pandemic hit. As lockdowns and restrictions began to disrupt the solar energy market, utility-scale solar was generally unaffected. After being designated essential work, utility-scale solar went on to represent 73% of all solar installed in 2020, according to The Solar Foundation. And there’s no slowdown in sight.
Project and employment demand in utility-scale solar is expected to soar over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet, one obstacle to growth facing utility-scale solar companies is the construction worker shortage. Today, companies throughout the construction industry are in dire need of high-quality tradespeople for their projects—and they’re competing to attract top talent from a limited pool of skilled workers. In turn, the worker shortage is impacting their ability to complete projects on time and on budget, affecting their bottom line.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), as of 2020, more than 230,000 tradespeople work in solar jobs at more than 10,000 companies across the nation. Also in 2020, 43% of all new electric capacity added to the grid came from solar—the largest such share in history, according to the SEIA.
Despite those pandemic-related obstacles, SEIA reports the U.S. solar market set an annual record with 19.2 gigawatts (GW) installed in 2020—and projects an additional 324 GW will be installed over the next decade.
With solar farm construction expected to surge throughout the U.S. into the next decade, utility-scale solar companies will be challenged to find skilled tradespeople to complete their projects.
Fortunately, there is a solution for utility-scale solar companies: renewable energy staffing companies. Partnering with renewable energy staffing professionals like PeopleReady Skilled Trades can help reduce the time and resources spent on finding the workforce to complete solar projects.
If you’re a leader at a utility-scale solar company tasked with finding the right workforce solution for your next renewable project, here are some key questions to ask energy staffing professionals before you make your decision.
5 Important Questions to Ask Renewable Energy Staffing Companies
- What is your experience in the solar energy staffing space?
It’s vital in solar farm construction to partner with renewable energy staffing companies that have experience specifically in the solar energy industry. Find out how long these energy staffing professionals have been working in the market. Ask for specific dates—and projects—and the number of workers they’ve placed.
For example, PeopleReady Skilled Trades was one of the first renewable energy staffing companies in the market and has been working with utility-scale solar companies since 2011. Because of our long-term experience, we have tenured renewable energy staffing professionals who know how to find the solar experts you need for your next utility-scale solar projects. In fact, over the last decade, we placed 20,000 workers that have installed over 20+ GW of solar.
- Do you have workers available in my market? Sometimes we work in remote areas.
If your company is like most Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) organizations, you want a local workforce for your projects when possible. Experienced renewable energy staffing companies have the capability to build a local workforce as well as provide access to a traveling workforce when necessary. Of course, finding local workers can be difficult particularly when solar farm construction is in remote locations. That’s why it’s important to work with energy staffing professionals who have a wide reach.
At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, we work in over 600 markets across the United States, giving you access to local workers in most cases. Additionally, PeopleReady Skilled Trades has built one of the largest traveling workforces in the industry. Our local and national recruiting capabilities mean we have access to the best skilled tradespeople when you need them.
- How do you know your tradespeople are qualified?
When it comes to energy staffing professionals, you want to choose a company that requires an in-depth screening process for all potential candidates. This minimizes your liability and makes certain you’re getting matched with high-quality individuals as well as excellent skilled tradespeople. Make sure you’re clear how prospective renewable energy staffing companies qualify their workers.
Here at PeopleReady Skilled Trades, our energy staffing professionals conduct a thorough review of all candidates, vetting their skills and capabilities for the jobs you need filled. We perform interviews to clearly communicate requirements and expectations. Mandatory behavioral surveys are provided, and we offer additional training like the OSHA-10 course, depending on your projects. When it comes to energy staffing, we take the steps to ensure you get skilled tradespeople in utility-scale solar who are dependable, reliable and capable of doing the job right—on time and on budget.
- How do you tend to compliance issues and make sure our workforce runs efficiently?
For solar farm construction, workers and tradespeople need to hit the ground running—safely. That’s why you need to make sure that renewable energy staffing companies have an available workforce with the experience needed to ensure your next project in utility-solar scale runs smoothly from start to finish.
As your partner in energy staffing, you can count on PeopleReady Skilled Trades to adhere to local, state, and federal laws and to make sure workers are properly classified so you don’t have to worry about delays and potential penalties.
- As energy staffing professionals, will you make my life easier?
As an EPC building a solar farm, you already have a lot on your plate. And as demand for solar farm construction increases and the labor shortage intensifies, your workload could become even more overwhelming. Renewable energy staffing companies should make your life easier—not harder.
That’s what we strive to do at PeopleReady Skilled Trades. Our energy staffing professionals take care of your payroll and onsite administrative management, and any other key back office administrative functions. Starting on day one, our turnkey solar workforce solutions—built for utility-scale solar and commercial projects—give you the peace of mind you deserve.
When it comes to choosing a partner in energy staffing, ask the questions. Do your homework—and when you’re finished, we trust you’ll find the energy staffing professionals at PeopleReady Skilled Trades to be the best choice for putting a skilled workforce within reach for utility-scale solar.
From hiring solar installers and heavy equipment operators to providing on-site support and confirming OHSA regulations, our team of energy staffing professionals will make sure you have everything you need to complete your solar farm construction—on time and on budget.
Ready to choose a partner in energy staffing that can provide turnkey solar workforce solutions for utility-scale solar?