Guest Commentary: Delaware, Maryland have lead roles in offshore wind, says Ørsted official

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Brady Walker is Ørsted’s head of government affairs and strategy in Maryland and Delaware.

I want to commend the governors of Maryland and Delaware for their leadership in joining the new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership, announced in June at the White House.

The partnership, which includes 11 East Coast states, aims to expand the American offshore-wind supply chain in states like Maryland and Delaware, including manufacturing facilities for offshore-wind components, port capabilities, logistics networks to install projects and workforce development to fill good-paying jobs.

As developer of Skipjack Wind, Ørsted is already helping to reach this goal in Maryland and Delaware. Skipjack Wind will create nearly 750 new permanent jobs and hundreds more construction jobs in our region. In addition, new offshore-wind cable- and tower-manufacturing facilities made possible by Skipjack Wind’s development will create hundreds — perhaps close to 1,000 — of additional new permanent jobs in the region.

For example, Ørsted has entered a $70 million agreement to create an offshore-wind steel-fabrication center at Crystal Steel Fabricators on the Eastern Shore that will create 50 new permanent jobs. We are also developing a $20 million, zero-emissions wind operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City, Maryland, that will house another 50 permanent jobs.

Skipjack Wind will also power nearly 300,000 homes in our region with clean energy. In short, we are creating permanent American jobs in order to create clean, domestic energy.

We are also firmly committed to enabling significant investment in energy infrastructure. As we seek to develop Skipjack Wind’s landfall and interconnection, we will create new jobs for Delawareans and Delaware businesses. We invite Delaware businesses to register at orstedprocurement.com for potential contracting opportunities with Skipjack Wind, Ørsted’s broader U.S. portfolio and the suppliers that help deliver offshore-wind farms and grid-modernization projects. As the operator of 1 out of every 3 offshore-wind turbines globally, Ørsted will harness its expertise to complete Skipjack Wind’s cable landfall and point of interconnection in a way that creates local jobs and respects local communities.

The United States has set an ambitious goal over the next seven years to create 44,000 American offshore-wind jobs, power more than 10 million American homes with renewable offshore wind and avoid 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

Achieving that goal can only happen by dramatically expanding the offshore-wind supply chain in Maryland, Delaware and beyond. The University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind estimates this expansion is a $109 billion revenue opportunity for businesses and workers. Jobs will include welders, machinists, engineers, construction workers and much more.

By joining the new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership, Maryland and Delaware have positioned their workforces to fully participate in this new American industry.

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