Announcement in Governor’s 2021 State of the State speech supports 9-GW offshore wind goal
The State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have launched a plan to train 2,500 workers as part of the largest public investment in offshore wind workforce development by any state in the US.
Through a partnership between SUNY’s Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University on Long Island, the US$20M investment in the New York Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) will advance offshore wind training programmes and educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry.
The announcement was included in Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State speech and supports New York’s goal of developing 9 GW of offshore wind by 2035, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
State University of New York chancellor Jim Malatras says, “SUNY is proud to partner with NYSERDA to launch New York State’s Offshore Wind Training Institute, a crucial component of Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand New York’s offshore wind and renewable energy industries.
“As we rebuild the post-Covid economy, we must focus on up-and-coming industries that are primed for growth. I want to thank Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College for lending their top of the line facilities and the expertise of their faculty to this important effort.
“With their help and Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we will train thousands of workers annually for high-paying green energy jobs and play a critical role in New York’s economic recovery.”
NYSERDA acting president and chief executive Doreen Harris says, “Governor Cuomo has taken the necessary actions to position New York as a national hub for the US offshore wind industry, serving as a catalyst to attract significant private investments in the state and create thousands of well-paying jobs.
“We are excited to partner with SUNY on this initiative, which will deliver opportunities across the state to prepare and train New Yorkers to work on the state’s first and future offshore wind projects as well as to provide a pipeline of talent for other offshore wind projects in the US.”
The state also launched the first solicitation by the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to develop the workforce needed to build its offshore wind projects and support the offshore wind industry.
Through the solicitation, US$3M is being made available to support educational and training organisations focusing on early training and skills development, including pre-apprenticeship training for disadvantaged communities, and workforce training initiatives that build partnerships between businesses, labour, workforce development and training institutions to support local supply chains and manufacturing in New York State. Selected training institutions will aim to begin training workers shortly after the awards which are expected in mid-2021.
Future solicitations over the next four years will be informed by sector research and include competitive grant and programme opportunities for New York-based public and private colleges, community colleges, independent training institutions, non-profits, and labour organisations to serve as OWTI training and academic partners.
The OWTI will also collaborate closely with the newly established National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC), for which Suffolk County Community College serves as the academic anchor through a US$10M partnership with the Sunrise Wind Project (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy).
To maximise benefits to New York’s workforce, the OWTI and the NOWTC are establishing comprehensive offshore wind training in New York. The OWTI will also work in close collaboration with Equinor’s workforce development and training initiatives in key regions across the state.