US Wind held an informational meeting on 2 February in Baltimore, where the company proposing to build a large-scale offshore wind farm off Maryland met with offshore wind developers, supply chain industry leaders, economic development experts and federal and state agency officials.
The meeting was held at Maritime Applied Physics Corporation in Baltimore and was the fourth in a series of meetings that US Wind has led in an effort to build business partnerships and bring industry leaders to Maryland. Previous meetings have been held at the Port of Baltimore and in Salisbury.
Attendees discussed offshore wind workforce development needs, as US Wind plans to build the 750MW offshore wind power project that would create almost 5,000 construction and skilled manufacturing jobs and almost 100 long-term operations and maintenance careers.
The meeting highlighted workforce development opportunities and potential partnerships with labour groups, community colleges and other sectors.
“Now is the time to bring back steel manufacturing and fabrication to Maryland,” said Jeremy Moses, President of Heavy Metal Corp. “Offshore wind is coming to the Atlantic Coast, and we want to be part of this exciting new industry.”
US Wind officials say they want to make Maryland the epicentre of the emerging offshore wind industry. According to the company, Maryland is ideally suited to become the East Coast hub of the industry, because of a highly motivated workforce and key rail and port infrastructure.
US Wind is one of two developers whose applications for a Maryland offshore wind farm are being considered by the Public Service Commission (PSC) during a 180-day period, which began on November 28. The other company that applied for building an offshore wind farm off Maryland’s coast is Deepwater Wind, the developer of the first offshore wind farm in the United States – the Block Island Wind Farm – which became operational last month.
After Deepwater Wind filed its Maryland application, US Wind made a case for its 750MW offshore wind project, saying that it has already spent more that USD 20 million to bring the offshore wind industry to Maryland, and that it is ready to invest much more.