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Unions and Solar Power

Posted by Margaret Collins In Wednesday, June 24 2009 under: solar workers, Solar Industry News, solar labor, solar unions

There's been some heat in the news recently, brought front and center by the New York Times, about the trouble solar giant Ausra has faced getting approval for a solar power plant in California. California Unions for Reliable Energy stonewalled the approval process with concerns for the negative impact the plant would have on desert wildlife. However, the same union made no move to stop the approval process for a BrightSource solar power plant that would also be in the desert, and also affect wildlife. Ausra's take on this scenario--and pundits seem to have taken up the call--is that unions are putting pressure on companies to use union labor in the construction of their solar energy plants. If, like BrightSource, a company announces its plans to use labor from the outset, no problems seem to arise. This reflects what the state has seen as a trend in the utility industry, according to the NYT:

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