Solar panels are seen at the Tampa Electric Company's Big Bend Solar Station Friday, June 2, 2017, in Gibsonton, Fla. The panels at the station will power about 3,000 homes in the area. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Virginia has long been coal country, but the solar power industry has been increasing its foothold in the Commonwealth over the last few years. And now, Michael Pope reports that a significant shift is taking place.
Virginia now has more jobs in the solar industry than the coal industry. Numbers from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy show a 40% drop in the number of people working in the coal industry over the last five years. Henry Childress with the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance says coal produces more energy with fewer employees.
“Coal will produce more jobs I think in the long term. But we’ve had to cut back because everyone feels like it’s not worth it to use coal anymore. And I feel that there will be a time when we will have to turn back to coal to meet the demand.”
For now, though, the solar industry has …