Ørsted applauds major investment in Maryland’s offshore wind workforce training

Source: press release, 3 August 2022

Offshore wind leader commits USD 735 million in Maryland Investments to create landmark workforce opportunity
Offshore wind leader commits USD 735 million in Maryland Investments to create landmark workforce opportunity (photo: Ørsted)

Ørsted, the US leader in offshore wind and developer of Skipjack Wind in Maryland, has commended the U.S. Department of Commerce and State of Maryland for a USD 22.9 million federal investment in the state’s offshore wind workforce training and pledged to work closely with State leaders to prepare Maryland residents for its offshore wind workforce. The State of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of Labor, will utilise the funds to create Maryland Works for Wind, a regional consortium to establish the state as a key hub for offshore wind training, fabrication, and employment.

Ørsted will invest nearly USD 735 million in Maryland and create thousands of local jobs during Skipjack Wind’s development and operation. As part of this effort, Ørsted is committing USD 10 million to STEM education and workforce development programs in Maryland. These programs will convene Maryland colleges, universities, community colleges, school systems, registered apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and community organisations to ensure the industry’s immense opportunities are available equitably and sustainably.

“Ørsted is proud to be making significant commitments to develop supply chain, manufacturing, and operations capabilities across Maryland as we develop Skipjack Wind,” says David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “The Maryland Works for Wind initiative positions the state to build a pipeline of skilled talent to support Skipjack Wind’s development and other projects in the US and globally. Ørsted is excited to work with the Maryland Department of Labor and its partners to ensure all Marylanders have access to the skills needed to secure good-paying jobs in offshore wind.”

Building on Ørsted’s landmark agreement with the North America’s Building Trades Union, and the Baltimore – D.C. Metro Building and Construction Trades Council, Ørsted is committed to working in partnership with organised labour to build Skipjack Wind’s onshore and offshore construction and ensure those who are building this clean energy infrastructure are paid decent wages, work in a safe environment, and have a voice on the job. Ørsted’s labour agreements have set the bar for working conditions and equity in the offshore wind industry and will inject new dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, create apprenticeship and career opportunities for communities most impacted by environmental injustice, and ensure projects will be built with the safest and best-trained workers in America. The Maryland Works for Wind initiative will be critical in helping to reach these goals.

Ørsted is also partnering with Tradepoint Atlantic to build Maryland’s first offshore wind staging centre. Ørsted invested USD 13.2 million in port infrastructure upgrades for handling offshore wind components such as nacelles, blades, and towers, and will develop 50 additional acres for the laydown, storage, and assembly of components. Ørsted will also enable the development of a subsea array cable and turbine tower manufacturing facilities in Maryland to serve offshore wind projects in the US and globally, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in local investment and creating hundreds of local jobs.

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ørsted entered into a USD 70 million supply agreement to establish Maryland’s first offshore wind steel fabrication center at Crystal Steel Fabricators and will construct Maryland’s first zero-emissions operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City.