Photo by Ilfede, Dreamstime.
Wind turbines in an offshore wind farm near Aberdeen, Scotland.

New York Governments to Establish Offshore Wind Training Center

Oct. 31, 2022
Supports goal to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 and establishes New York as hub for the industry.

The governments of New York State and Suffolk County are transferring land to be used for a National Offshore Wind Training Center to New York. The governor’s office also launched a $9 million competitive opportunity through the State's Offshore Wind Training Institute, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in collaboration with the State University of New York Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University, for expanded offshore wind workforce development and training initiatives to address workforce gaps and prepare New Yorkers for high-growth jobs in this growing industry.

According to the governor’s office, this training center is part of a long-term goal to establish New York State as a hub for offshore wind and supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.     

Suffolk County purchased the state-owned parcel located in Brentwood for $1.46 million for the creation of a community-centered space that expands access to family-sustaining job opportunities and educational advancement, particularly for high school and college-age New Yorkers entering the workforce.

The site, which includes a 22-year license agreement with the county, will host a newly established National Offshore Wind Training Center (NOWTC) that will be funded by a $10 million investment by Sunrise Wind (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy), in partnership with the Long Island Federation of Labor-AFLCIO, the Nassau and Suffolk Building and Construction Trades, Suffolk County Community College, International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, the Utility Workers Union of America, BlueGreen Alliance and Minority Millennials.

The NOWTC is expected to train and certify hundreds, if not thousands, of workers under Global Wind Organization (GWO) training standards for offshore wind. In addition, NOWTC will offer curriculum and support services for entryways into pre-apprenticeship training for the construction industry as well as manufacturing certifications that will benefit regional employment.    

To maximize benefits to New York's workforce, the NOWTC will collaborate closely with the state's Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to establish comprehensive and cross-cutting offshore wind and clean energy training and workforce development initiatives. The $20 million OWTI is advancing offshore wind training programs and the educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry. In cultivating a statewide umbrella of industry, academic, trade and community partnerships, the OWTI will train 2,500 New York workers beginning this year through 2027 to support both offshore and onshore renewable energy projects.

NYSERDA released the OWTI's second solicitation seeking proposals for new workforce development and training initiatives from technical/vocational high schools, community colleges, universities, unions, training and job placement intermediaries, community-based organizations and non-profit organizations. Grant funding will be provided for training initiatives and programs that focus on new or existing workers with preference given to projects that serve priority populations and individuals from underserved communities.

NYSERDA will also prioritize projects that offer direct entry into the offshore wind workforce through partnerships with offshore wind original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, vendors, suppliers, developers, labor unions and trade associations. Selected training institutions will begin training workers shortly after the awards which are expected starting in early 2023.    

The OWTI solicitation includes a two-step application process consisting of a required concept paper followed by an invite-only full proposal. Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis starting October 20, 2022 through March 23, 2023 and will be evaluated within four to six weeks of receipt. Upon favorable review, select applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal with the following due dates:

  • Round One- January 17, 2023;    
  • Round Two - March 23, 2023;    
  • Round Three - June 1, 2023.     

Development and implementation of selected offshore wind training programs and initiatives is expected to be completed within about 18 to 24 months. These new training initiatives will build on the OWTI's first two winning proposals to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, and LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York, to support early training and skills development for underserved communities and priority populations — including veterans, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, homeless individuals and single parents — in both the Capital Region and New York City.     

Collectively, these announcements support the development of New York State's nation-leading offshore wind project pipeline, which currently has five projects in active development, the largest portfolio in the nation. This initial portfolio totals more than 4,300 MW, will power more than 2.4 million New York homes, and is expected to bring a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion to the state. The projects are also expected to create more than 6,800 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, operations and maintenance. Achieving the state's 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 goal will generate enough energy to power about 30 percent of New York State's electricity needs, equivalent to nearly 6 million homes, and spur about 10,000 jobs.     

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