BCC, UMass Dartmouth, Mass. Maritime play key role in offshore wind

Massachusetts colleges and universities will play key roles in training workers, finding cost savings and ensuring safety as the states’s new offshore wind industry takes shape.

On Friday, the Baker-Polito administration announced the award of some $700,000 in grants to universities and research institutions.  Included is $248,000 for a consortium including Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to identify workforce requirements for jobs in the new industry, to assess the number and types of of jobs likely to be produced, and to determine health and safety training needs.

“Tapping into the Commonwealth’s world-class academic and research institutions will make Massachusetts a leader in the growing offshore wind sector in the United States,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in announcing the grants from the state’s Clean Energy Center. “These research projects will identify ways to make offshore wind projects more cost-effective and beneficial to the ratepayers of Massachusetts.”
 
Six Massachusetts academic and research institutions – Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – have been awarded $300,000 to develop a multi-disciplinary framework for offshore wind research, focusing on increasing innovation within projects and reducing costs by examining risks, finances and regulations.
UMass Lowell  will get $150,000 to develop a new system for monitoring the structural health of wind turbine blades.
“These research projects will help utilize the abundant talent in our colleges and universities,” said state Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford.  “The South Coast has a rich history of employment tied to the ocean and the opportunities created by this funding will help protect this tradition through advancements in offshore wind.”