The Mesa County solar energy market is booming, according to a recent report.
The findings published by Colorado Mesa University, the Grand Valley Solar Center and state industry officials suggest the growth now represents a $15 million industry in the local area.
Since 2006, more than 1,200 solar electric systems have been installed in Mesa County. The area is seeing an average of about ten installations each week, according to the "Residential and Commercial Sited Solar in Grand Junction, CO" report.
The findings also show the local industry directly employs about 50 people while indirectly creating 30 more jobs.
"We did this report several years ago and we're just highlighting the dramatic growth here in Mesa County," Lou Villaire with Atlasta Solar Center.
Solar energy is considered the single fastest growing energy source in the world. Since 2006, the report says the nationwide market has more than doubled each year.
Colorado, home to more than 400 solar companies and thousands of industry jobs, is ranked among the top five states in development.
The full report will be released in the fall of 2012 by the Grand Valley Solar Center and the CMU Natural Resource Center.