Maryland Energy Administration Announces $2.8 Million for Offshore Wind Supply Chain Development Grants
By Chidinma Emenike, Energy Specialist
Maryland is committed to supporting local businesses involved in the expansion of clean, renewable wind energy which will bring new economic growth and career opportunities to residents. Maryland, along with seven other coastal states have committed to procuring nearly 30,000 megawatts (MW) from wind energy. Maryland is uniquely positioned to build this new era of clean energy both geographically and economically. The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has two invigorating grants to give Maryland businesses the resources needed to seize this opportunity. The Offshore Wind Workforce Training Program addresses the most critical resource required, qualified labor and funds workforce training centers in the state. The Offshore Wind Capital Expenditure Program funds current Maryland businesses in the wind energy sector and encourages new renewable energy companies to open up shop in the state.
In addition to the two current Maryland offshore wind projects (totaling 368 MW of capacity that received state approval in 2017) we have an additional 1,200 MW goal of offshore wind capacity by 2030, per Maryland law, to meet. The American Wind Energy Association estimates the combined current economic development opportunities to meet the Atlantic coast’s offshore wind buildout represents an investment of nearly $57 billion from offshore wind developers, producing as many as 83,000 new jobs and generating nearly $25.4 billion of annual economic output to the U.S. economy.
More on the grants
The Maryland Offshore Wind Workforce Training Program for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) supports new or existing workforce training centers owned or operated by emerging businesses, including those that are minority-owned; nonprofit organizations; governmental entities; and academic institutions that are expanding their course offerings for the offshore wind industry.
A total of $1.2 million is available and MEA calculates grant awards at up to 75% of the total project costs with applicants contributing at least 25% of the total project costs as matching funds or in-kind services. Grant awards may not exceed $400,000. Applicants that received grant funding from this program previously are welcome to reapply.
The Maryland Offshore Wind Capital Expenditures Program for FY21 supports new or existing emerging businesses, including those that are minority-owned, in Maryland entering the offshore wind industry. MEA will also consider applications from businesses willing to relocate or expand into Maryland contingent upon receiving a grant award. This grant requires that capital expenditures be utilized to provide goods and services to the growing offshore wind industry for Maryland and all of the United States.
MEA calculates grant awards as up to 50% of the total project costs with applicants contributing at least 50% of the total project costs via matching funds or in-kind services. A total of $1.6 million in funding is available and grant awards may not exceed $400,000.
The application deadline for both programs is January 15, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. Questions can be directed to Samuel Beirne, Offshore Wind Energy Program Manager, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone directly at (410) 913-5793.