The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has awarded grants to five companies under its two initiatives to prepare Maryland’s businesses and workforce to participate in the two offshore wind projects approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) in May 2017.
Under the 2018 Offshore Wind Business grant, Strum Contracting Company of Baltimore got USD 225,000, Martin Holdings USD 375,000, and Devreco won USD 100,000. The Offshore Wind Workforce Development grants were awarded to Arcon Welding Training School in the amount of USD 100,000 and Jane Addams Resource Corporation won USD 200,000.
MEA created the programs with statutory authority provided by the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, while the statute created the Offshore Wind Business Development Fund where funding for the grants is sourced.
Maryland is committed to lowering the cost of offshore wind by leveraging the state’s unique assets to establish a supply chain hub, MEA said, adding that the state is strategically located at the heart of the mid-Atlantic and the Port of Baltimore is one of the busiest deep-water ports in the US.
Mary Beth Tung, Director of the MEA, said: “Maryland is the perfect location to serve as the supply chain hub for offshore wind industry and these grants will ensure we have the skilled workforce to take advantage of the new accompanying jobs.”
According to MEA, more than 1,300 businesses work in and around the port employing thousands of Marylanders, which presents an opportunity to employ even more locals and serve as a potential resource to support the offshore wind industry.