Golden girls: How women are lighting up the solar industry

Despite being one of the fastest growing industries in the country, solar isn’t a very diverse field: In fact, only 19 percent of solar jobs are held by women. But with the technology becoming increasingly affordable and the number of jobs in the industry increasing, professionals working in the field say solar is taking off — and providing women with a lot of new opportunities.

Local conference highlights renewable energy economy

Of the 30 utility-scale solar projects built in the Southeast last year, 21 were in North Carolina. That’s the kind of good news business leaders heard when they gathered June 19 in Asheville to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges facing the rapidly growing renewable energy industry. (pictured: Ivan Urlaub of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; photo by Max Cooper)

Building knowledge: Asheville pushes for new schools

Education officials, teachers and even some students are pushing to build cutting-edge new homes for Isaac Dickson Elementary and Asheville Middle School. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider the proposals soon, some of them questioning the need for high-tech designs when budgets are already stretched thin. Even supporters don’t know where the estimated $60 million cost might come from.

Three Asheville area businesses among those honored as North Carolina’s “companies to watch”

Three Asheville area businesses are among the 25 named “North Carolina Companies to Watch” by CED and the Edward Lowe Foundation. Both are private, nonprofit organizations promoting entrepreneurial efforts in North Carolina. Hickory Nut Gap Farms, Moog Music, and FLS Energy are all slated to be honored at an awards ceremony September 21 in Durham.