The Biden administration views the response to the climate crisis as the best opportunity to create jobs for generations.There is a saying that many workers who have seen high salaries and reduced union jobs in the fossil fuel industry are suspiciousHowever, an announcement issued last week provides a preview of what will happen if the energy transition is driven by American manufacturing technology.

US Wind, developer of offshore wind farms, Announced plan Expanding its 22 turbine project under development off the coast of Maryland, adding up to 82 turbines, enabling the facility to power 500,000 homes. At the same time as the expansion, US Wind also proposed to build a new wind turbine manufacturing plant outside of Baltimore.

The plant, called Sparrows Point Steel, will manufacture monopiles, which are steel foundations that anchor giant wind turbines to the seabed. It will be located at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Company factory and shipyard, which produced steel for World War II ships and the Golden Gate Bridge in its heyday. According to E&E News.

According to American Wind Power, a new wind farm near the coast of Maryland alone is estimated to create 3,500 construction jobs and 100 operational jobs. But the company said that once the steel mill is fully productive, it can create 500 more permanent jobs—most of which promise high-paying union jobs. US Wind has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Steel Workers Union, the local branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Baltimore-DC Construction Industry Council, agreeing to hire union workers for construction and manufacturing.

Jim Strong, an assistant director of the American Iron and Steel Workers Federation, said he hopes his members can play a role in welding, operating machinery, manufacturing and crane operations. “These will be high-paying jobs that require certain skills,” he told Grist. Strong said that three and a half years ago, the American Steelworkers Federation first started talking about the facility with American Wind Energy. They know that Sparrow Point, which will house the monopile plant, will become an attractive location for the offshore wind power industry. 3,100 acres of deep water industrial port Can use existing shipping channels and other useful infrastructure. Nancy Sopko, head of external affairs at US Wind, told Grist that it is cheaper to build monopiles in Maryland because it eliminates expensive transatlantic transportation from Europe.

Sparrows Point will have some competition: In April, developers build wind farms off the coast of New Jersey Groundbreaking of single pile manufacturing facility On the Delaware River at the Paulsboro Maritime Terminal. The companies behind the project-Danish offshore wind power company Orsted, New Jersey utility company PSEG, and steel pipe manufacturer EEW-have signed a union agreement for the construction of the monopile facility, but they have not yet made any announcements on whether the manufacturing work will also join the union . These companies did not respond to requests for comment.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also hopes to attract wind turbine component manufacturers to The second port being developed by the country On an artificial island in southern New Jersey. New York State is investing in the construction of a wind turbine manufacturing base in the Port of Albany. Currently, about 79% of the supply chain of onshore wind power projects in the United States is supplied by domestic manufacturing. Recent working documents Princeton University researchers looked at the cost impact of applying high labor standards to the manufacturing of clean energy components. The facilities in Maryland, New Jersey and New York will be the first in the country to build offshore modules.

The vigorous development of offshore wind power on the east coast of the United States is driven by state-level policies that require utilities to purchase a certain amount of power from offshore wind power. If Congress can pass the clean power standard – this policy will set a benchmark for national utility companies to obtain a certain amount of clean power – it could mark new private investment in the entire supply chain, wind energy and other clean energy technologies. The bipartisan infrastructure plan being finalized by Congress is passed, and more clean energy manufacturing jobs may appear.

The current infrastructure bill includes $750 million in grant funds to support advanced energy manufacturing facilities or reduce emissions from manufacturing facilities. It has also invested heavily in domestic battery manufacturing, of which millions of dollars are used for key mineral research, 3 billion dollars for battery material processing, and 3 billion dollars for battery manufacturing and recycling.

Source link