Training program

The CCRI will offer a training program on offshore wind

Those looking to start a career in offshore wind can soon enroll in a globally recognized training certificate program at the Community College of Rhode Island. The first of its kind in the state, the new program was formed from a partnership between the CIRB, various state agencies and private industry.

Revolution Wind, a 704 megawatt offshore wind development set to be built just off the coast of Rhode Island, has provided $1.5 million for the start of the program as part of a $4.5 million commitment. previously announced dollars to bolster the state’s offshore wind workforce.

The wind farm project is a venture of Orsted and Eversource, the energy giants behind the country’s first offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm. Revolution Wind is expected to provide renewable energy to Rhode Island and Connecticut.

“Today’s $1 million investment is creating a safe and inclusive workforce in Rhode Island that will play a critical role in advancing the state’s blue economy and will accelerate the transformation to a clean energy future that we can all be proud of,” said Joe Nolan, CEO of Eversource. and president.

Construction of the new offshore wind farm is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2025. The wind farm’s planned 100 wind turbines, which will be placed 12 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard, will be visible from the shores around from Aquidneck Island, including Easton Beach, Second Beach, Cliff Walk, Pell Bridge, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and Norman Bird Sanctuary.

“Our state has before us a historic, one-of-a-kind opportunity to capitalize on its position as a leader in wind and renewable energy, create well-paying jobs, and protect Rhode Island’s future, while being well positioned to lead the way to tackle the climate crisis,” Gov. Dan McKee said in an Aug. 2 statement.

“We need to make sure that Rhode Island is not just the birthplace of American offshore wind, but its home into the future. Investments like this are how we’re going to get there,” Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos said. “This program will ensure that we have one of the best trained wind energy workforces in the country. We can protect our environment while creating well-paying union jobs and leading a growing international industry.

The state estimates that Revolution Wind creates thousands of jobs in Rhode Island during construction and operation. Orsted and Eversource have together invested $40 million in ProvPort and Quonset Point in North Kingstown to support the development of the wind farm and similar projects, including a new regional offshore wind construction facility in Providence.

McKee signed legislation in June requiring the state to have 100% renewable energy by 2033.

The partnership between business, higher education, and state agencies aims to establish a Global Wind Organization (GWO) training certificate program at CCRI’s Flanagan campus in Lincoln. GWO training, the international standard for offshore wind safety preparation, provides essential safety training for workers engaged in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms.

Workers enrolled in the program will receive training in first aid, manual handling, fire awareness, working at heights and survival at sea. The program lasts approximately 44 hours and certification, which is required to work at the foreigner, is valid for two years.

CCRI has no current plans to extend the program to its Newport or Warwick campuses, as the Lincoln campus is equipped with the appropriate facilities, including a swimming pool capable of simulating offshore conditions and large height similar to turbines, to facilitate the course, a spokesperson said.

“CIRB is uniquely positioned to deliver this training,” said Amy Kempe, Director of Marketing and Communications at CIRB. “The only community college in the state, CCRI has been providing career-focused education, including workforce development programs, for decades. GWO training is a natural fit.

The program will be offered in cohorts which are expected to start in March 2023. It is estimated that around 150 students will complete the course by next summer. Registration will not be limited, Kempe said. Orsted and Eversource provide funding to CCRI to “upgrade and upgrade facilities, purchase equipment, and achieve program accreditation.”

The work will be completed by Boston Energy in the fall and the CIRB will cover the administration costs.

“CIRB is the workforce training engine that will fuel Rhode Island’s growing offshore energy sector,” said Meghan Hughes, President of CIRB. “We are grateful to our industry, government and labor partners for this investment, which will enable CCRI to establish a world-class GWO training program that will provide Rhode Islanders with the skills necessary to embark on high-quality careers in the sector. offshore wind.”

In addition to CCRI, Orsted, and Eversource, partners include the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, and Building Futures, a company with extensive experience running training programs and a collaborator of RI DTL since 2007.

Revolution Wind is one of several offshore wind development projects planned off the coast of New England, including the 130 megawatt South Fork Wind project to serve Long Island and the 924 megawatt Sunrise Wind project to serve New York.