No More Hypothetical – Offshore Wind Jobs Are Real!

from Wildlife Promise

0 3/7/2011 // By Tony Caligiuri

Atlantic Off-shore wind is already bringing jobs to Maryland

For years advocates and those resisiting the development of Atlantic offshore wind have been having a theoretical debate about jobs that may or may not be created by the establishment of clean-energy-producing offshore wind turbines. 

In a recent Maryland General Assembly hearing on the promotion of off-shore wind in that state, one Delegate wanted to know: “Where is the proof that this technology will really bring jobs to our state?”

Well it looks like that debate has now been settled by a recent news item that announces plans for Maryland’s first wind turbine factory, to be built on Maryland’s job-starved Eastern Shore.

From a recent AP story:

“AC Wind plans to spend upward of $10 million retrofitting a former US Marine boat plant to begin molding fiberglass wind turbine blades, company executives told the Associated Press in an interview Friday.”

Check out the full article here:  

http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103080397

If successful, AC Wind would be the state’s first manufacturer of wind turbine parts and could hire more than 200 workers to build the blades.

“We’re not representing research and development, we’re going to be true manufacturing, creating hundreds of jobs, and made in the state of Maryland,” said John Congredo, president of AC Wind.

Working from the state’s end, Gov. Martin O’Malley is pushing a proposal that would mandate state utilities buy the wind energy generated in those zones. If successful, Maryland utilities would lock in to 25-year wind energy contracts.

“In this competitive new economy, the states that win will be those that succeed in leveraging innovation into job creation and economic growth,” O’Malley said at a House hearing on his offshore wind bill last week.

The Salisbury plant would be overhauled to make the fiberglass blades to specifications provided by turbine manufacturers like GE, Congredo said. AC Wind is partnering with Molded Fiber Glass Companies in Ohio, he said.

“We really want to bring this back to the U.S. and specifically to Maryland,” said Rick Gay, AC Wind’s chief operating officer. “We don’t want to see this work going away. We want to do it right here.”