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While oil spill news continues to look bleak, the solar industry is on the rise.

Yesterday, US President Barack Obama announced the awarding of about $2 billion to two solar energy companies that agreed to build new solar power plants in the US. This means more renewable energy and thousands of new jobs will soon be available.

The companies that earned the reward are Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing. Abengoa plans to build one of the largest solar plants in the world, in Arizona. The plant will be able to power up to 70,000 homes. As for Abound Solar Manufacturing, they plan to build not one, but two new plants: One in Colorado and one in Indiana.

In addition to the US gaining more solar facilities, it also means more jobs will be provided. Over 2,000 construction jobs will be available during the building of the plants; plus an additional 1,500 (or more) permanent jobs will be created as the plants manufacture millions of solar panels every year.

The announcement came after the US unemployment rate fell to 9.5% last month, with a net loss of 125,000 jobs reported by the Labor Department. In the announcement, Obama stated:

“We’re going to keep fighting to advance our recovery. And we’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America.”

So, if you live in Arizona, Colorado, or Indiana, get ready for some new job opportunities and a chance to become part of the renewable energy way of life.