PRESQUE ISLE, Maine and CASTINE, Maine and BUCKSPORT, Maine, July 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Tuesday, July 18th, leaders from the Maine Community College System (MCCS), Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), and Diamond Offshore Wind announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to a partnership that will map out workforce needs of the offshore wind industry in Maine and support the development of offshore wind technicians and other skilled workers. Leaders from the institutions participated in a roundtable discussion at MMA’s Center for Professional Mariner Development to discuss a joint initiative to “marinize” Maine’s workforce to service future offshore wind farms. This agreement marks the first collaboration of its kind in Maine.
The panel discussion included Northern Maine Community College President Tim Crowley, Wind Power Faculty Wayne Kilcollins, MMA Associate Professor of Engineering Sadie Alley Ferreira, MMA’s Director of Center for Professional Mariner Development Tim Achorn, and Diamond Offshore Wind CEO Chris Wissemann. The roundtable touched on the goals of the partnership, the programmatic training for technicians and how the three will work together to prepare a shoreside workforce to explore careers offshore. A recorded live stream of the event can be seen at live.mainemaritime.edu.
In remarks opening the event, Maine Maritime President Jerry Paul called the partnership, “A fruitful first step in broadening the scope of Maine’s workforce training.” Paul went on to explain, “Clean energy is forefront in Maine and the maritime industry. MMA is proud to lend its expertise to a cause that will mean more access to jobs for Mainers. We are looking forward to this partnership with the Maine Community College system and Diamond Offshore Wind.”
The event comes on the heels of Northern Maine Community College and MMA receiving [nearly] $3M through 2022 and 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending grants allow the institutions to jointly pursue Global Wind Organization (GWO) certification, which brings training into alignment with the highest standards in the industry. The CDS grants, championed by both Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins, allow for the purchase of equipment, the establishment of an online directory, and to hire of the faculty required to achieve the GWO standards of training.
“This partnership positions Maine’s workforce to take full advantage of the clean energy future outlined by the State of Maine,” NMCC President Timothy Crowley stated. “NMCC started educating and training wind technicians 13 years ago, and the potential energy off of Maine’s coast represents an immense opportunity for Mainers who seek an exciting, high-demand career.”
The state of Maine is seeing increased interest in the offshore wind industry. In February, the Governor’s Energy Office issued the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, which reflects 18 months of research and is part of an effort to “Free Maine from its over-reliance on fossil fuels, to lower energy costs and volatility, and to curb climate-altering emissions to protect our state’s environment for future generations,” as stated in the document’s executive summary. Research shows that offshore wind is an abundant source of clean and renewable energy, and Maine is poised to be a leader in the field.
Diamond Offshore Wind (DOW) is the State of Maine’s development partner on the Maine Research Array, a 10-turbine offshore wind project that will be located approximately 45 miles east-southeast of Portland. The research array will utilize the VolturnUS semisubmersible technology developed by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The small-scale Research Array is designed to create a set of real-world tested best practices and standards that can foster responsible offshore wind development and inform future offshore wind projects in the U.S. and beyond. DOW is also developing the single-turbine demonstration project near Monhegan Island, which will also use the VolturnUS technology.
“Offshore wind will create jobs and a new industry for Maine,” said Chris Wissemann, CEO of Diamond Offshore Wind. “We are pleased to be partnering with Maine Maritime Academy and Northern Maine Community College to support training that will provide Mainers with skills that will be in demand for decades to come. Our goal is to provide a way for Mainers to get good paying jobs in clean energy and add a new chapter to the state’s maritime history.”
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About Northern Maine Community College: Founded in 1961, NMCC is an accredited two-year public community college located in Presque Isle, Maine. The College is committed to excellence in learning and offers over 30 innovative associate degree and certificate-level programs both online and in-person. NMCC is one of seven colleges in the Maine Community College System. To learn more: visit www.nmcc.edu or call NMCC Admissions at 207-768-2785.
About Maine Maritime Academy: Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation to promote the maritime interests of the United States. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation with very high-paying jobs.
The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine. The 2022 Report by Georgetown University ranked MMA #1 among all public colleges for return on investment for low-income students at public bachelor’s degree institutions. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.
About Diamond Offshore Wind: Diamond Offshore Wind (DOW) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation (MC). It was formed by DGC to develop, own and operate offshore wind projects in the U.S. Building on MC’s success in the global offshore wind market and DGC’s deep experience and outstanding performance as a U.S. independent power producer, DOW is uniquely positioned to be a strong, long-term leader in the burgeoning U.S. market. DOW is developing the floating offshore wind demonstration and research projects in the Gulf of Maine. dgc-us.com