As part of the largest public investment in offshore wind workforce development by any state in the country, the State University of New York (SUNY) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have launched New York’s Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI) to train 2,500 workers.
Through a partnership between Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College, the $20 million investment in the new training institute will advance offshore wind training programs and educational infrastructure needed to establish a skilled workforce that can support the emerging national offshore wind industry. This supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal of developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
“SUNY is proud to partner with NYSERDA to launch New York State’s Offshore Wind Training Institute, a crucial component of Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand New York’s offshore wind and renewable energy industries,” said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. “As we rebuild the post-COVID economy, we must focus on up-and-coming industries that are primed for growth. I want to thank Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College for lending their top of the line facilities and the expertise of their faculty to this important effort. With their help and Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we will train thousands of workers annually for high-paying green energy jobs and play a critical role in New York’s economic recovery.”
“Stony Brook is eager to partner in leading the Offshore Wind Training Institute with Farmingdale State College,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Interim Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University. “We bring the full strength of our expertise in clean energy research, economic development and interconnections with industry to advance New York State as the nation’s leader in the offshore wind energy sector. Stony Brook is working closely with NYSERDA and Farmingdale to enable educational and employment opportunities that this institute will provide.”
Earlier this year Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences received a $1.1 million award from the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium to optimize offshore wind farm layouts by leveraging high-fidelity simulations on parallel supercomputers, advanced turbine controls and artificial intelligence tools. Dr. Sotiropoulos is the lead principal investigator of the project.
“Governor Cuomo has taken the necessary actions to position New York as a national hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry, serving as a catalyst to attract significant private investments in the state and create thousands of well-paying jobs,” said Doreen Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA. “We are excited to partner with SUNY on this initiative, which will deliver opportunities across the state to prepare and train New Yorkers to work on the state’s first and future offshore wind projects as well as to provide a pipeline of talent for other offshore wind projects in the U.S.”
New York issued the first solicitation by OWTI to develop the world-class workforce needed to build its offshore wind projects and support the offshore wind industry. Through this solicitation, $3 million is being made available to support educational and training organizations focusing on early training and skills development, including pre-apprenticeship training, for disadvantaged communities and workforce training initiatives that build partnerships between businesses, labor, workforce development and training institutions to support local supply chains and manufacturing in New York State. Selected training institutions will aim to begin training workers shortly after the awards, which are expected in Summer 2021.
Future solicitations over the next four years will be informed by sector research and include competitive grant and program opportunities for New York-based public and private colleges, community colleges, independent training institutions, nonprofits and labor organizations to serve as OWTI training and academic partners.