U.S. Department of Energy Establishing National Center of Excellence to Accelerate Domestic Offshore Wind Industry

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it is investing $4.75 million to establish a new national center of excellence to accelerate reliable and equitable offshore wind energy deployment across the nation. The Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind (ARROW), led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst with approximately 40 partners, will focus on workforce development, targeted research, and partnerships and strategies to embed equity in offshore wind development. This academic and training hub, which includes partners across the United States, will help drive progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, 100% clean electricity grid by 2035, and net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

“Offshore wind can play a major role in decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid, and meeting its potential will require skilled workers to propel us forward,” said Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “This consortium will provide timely and relevant training and education to help foster the domestic offshore wind workforce of tomorrow and secure a clean energy future for all Americans.”

As offshore wind energy development grows there will be an increasing demand for workers across a broad range of disciplines. The selected ARROW consortium, funded by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, will provide inter-disciplinary educational opportunities to help advance the next generation of offshore wind workers.

This offshore wind consortium will help foster the education and training needed to equitably achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2023.

ARROW comprises of eight universities, three national laboratories, two state-level energy offices, and many industry and stakeholder groups. It is designed to foster and support a diverse, enduring offshore workforce that is domestically educated while ensuring reliable, resilient, equitable, low-cost, and rapid deployment of offshore wind energy.

To accomplish these goals, ARROW will support three programs.

  1. ARROW-Empower will focus on an enduring and comprehensive educational scale-up for offshore wind, advancing the education of 1,000 students over the initial 5-year life of the center.
  2. ARROW-Innovate will conduct research on infrastructure, atmospheric and ocean conditions, and marine and human ecology to advance the resiliency of offshore wind.
  3. Arrow-Engage will connect with communities across the country and help ensure benefits from offshore wind are spread equitably, while also helping to grow a diverse domestic workforce.

This consortium includes Clemson University, Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Argonne National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and the Maryland Energy Administration. Over 20 other organizations, including developers, conservation organizations, offshore wind manufacturers, a grid operator, community representatives, trade associations, standards organizations, and others, are also anticipated to serve as partners.

Learn more about WETO’s portfolio of funded projects on the WETO Projects Map and learn about the office’s efforts to foster trained and qualified workers needed for the growing U.S. wind industry.

Receive the latest information on WETO funding opportunities, events, and other news by subscribing to the monthly Catch the Wind newsletter, as well as the comprehensive, biannual Research and Development (R&D) Newsletter.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicant will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time. DOE award amounts are subject to change pending negotiations.

Courtesy of Energy.Gov

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