The UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center (PPC) has launched a new project which will monitor the offshore wind industry in the United States and analyze its economic development and workforce implications.
The Offshore Wind Economics Project (OSWEP) will focus on developing actionable insights designed to inform evidence-based policymaking and maximize the economic and community benefits associated with current and future offshore wind developments in Massachusetts and beyond.
According to UMass Dartmouth, OSWEP builds on the expertise of the faculty associated with the PPC who has conducted studies of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy in collaboration with the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, as well as on Vineyard Wind's proposed offshore wind projects in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
In addition, the project is expected to contribute to the economic and workforce implications of the 1,600MW solicitation currently underway in Massachusetts, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Bristol Community College, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (forthcoming).
“While offshore wind research is frequently associated with engineers, oceanographers, and other natural scientists, it has become clear that there are a number of significant and high stakes issues that require the sustained attention of social scientists and policy analysts,” said Elise Korejwa, OSWEP Project Manager and Senior Research Associate at the Public Policy Center.
Korejwa believes the states and regions that will benefit most from the offshore wind industry are those with the port infrastructure, skilled workforce, and proximity to the wind resources, which are required to attract developers and capture the benefits of the domestic manufacturing supply chain.
“Community leaders, economic and workforce development practitioners, and policymakers will need actionable data and analysis in order to quickly and effectively respond to these opportunities. That is what OSWEP is designed to provide.”