Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has launched the first US training facility for workers using crew transfer vessels
The facility, which received US$1.73M from the Baker administration and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, will provide education, training and certification.
It will support construction and operation of Vineyard Wind’s 800-MW offshore wind project, which was selected by the Commonwealth’s electric district companies in May 2018 under the state’s first competitive procurement for offshore wind.
Governor Baker said, “As Massachusetts heads toward building the first large-scale offshore wind project in the US, we are pleased that Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be home to this first-in-the-nation training facility.
“With important training infrastructure like this crew transfer facility workers will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be a part of the growing clean energy industry and can take advantage of the highly skilled jobs it will create.”
Lt Governor Karyn Polito said, “Offshore wind is a crucial part of our administration’s climate strategy, and it is vital we have a skilled workforce ready for jobs that will bring new opportunities to many residents in the Commonwealth.”
The project is a partnership between Mass Maritime, state government and industry, including Vineyard Wind. Before the Mass Maritime training facility opened, there was no other organisation in the US accredited to provide a full safety training programme for workers in offshore wind.
Vineyard Wind chief executive Lars Thaaning Pedersen said, “Vineyard Wind is excited to partner with the Baker-Polito Administration, Mass Maritime and other academic institutions to invest in workforce training and safety programs that will be crucial to a successful US offshore wind industry.
“We look forward to Mass Maritime’s facility serving as a catalyst for developing an American-led workforce equipped with the skills to lead offshore wind projects up and down the east coast.”
Initially, MMA will focus on basic safety training for the offshore wind industry with a course comprised of five modules: first aid, manual handling, fire awareness, working at height and sea survival.
Some of the training will take place in MMA’s newly-constructed indoor climbing facility and at a crew transfer training unit on the MMA’s pier in Buzzard’s Bay. Instructors will teach students how to safely transfer from the vessel to an offshore wind turbine. Relyon Nutec helped train MMA instructors to deliver the courses using the Global Wind Organization-approved and globally recognised curriculum.