Offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind, and its community development partner Vineyard Power Cooperative, have formally announced Vineyard Wind’s proposed Offshore Wind Operation & Maintenance facility, located on the working waterfront in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Once operational, Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Wind Operation & Maintenance center is expected to employ up to 40 people, while providing the island community with economic diversification and with additional resources to address climate change, ocean acidification, and coastal erosion.
“Alliances like our partnership with Vineyard Power ensure that coastal communities will directly benefit from the abundant clean energy and related economic activity that is associated with offshore wind generation,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer with Vineyard Wind.
Vineyard Power has also announced a partnership with the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Adult Community Education MV and local community colleges for offshore wind career job training and education. The “blue economy” partnership will be developed through support from Vineyard Wind’s “Windward Workforce” fund, a $2 million initiative designed to help recruit, mentor, and train Massachusetts residents for careers in the Commonwealth’s new offshore wind industry.
“Vineyard Power Cooperative and Vineyard Wind have built a strong relationship on the principle of delivering value and benefits of renewable energy development to local communities,” said Vineyard Power’s President Richard Andre. “Since signing the nation’s first Community Benefit Agreement for offshore wind development with our organization in 2015, Vineyard Wind has continued to value local relationships while supporting related community-focused renewable energy initiatives such as the Cooperative’s work to develop solar and energy storage projects.”
Local elected officials, business owners, civic leaders and representatives from the island’s energy community joined with Vineyard Power Cooperative to celebrate the “green” ribbon-cutting ceremony
“Vineyard Wind’s partnership with community-based non-profits provides a strong model for the offshore wind sector to ensure that the economic and environmental benefits created by the offshore wind sector are delivered to local towns and cities,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro.)
He added: “Specifically, I’m excited to see that Vineyard Wind is committed to working with Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and local community colleges for job education and training. This effort will provide the necessary skills and know-how to ensure that local residents will continue to benefit from future offshore wind projects and the year-round jobs will be a boost to Martha’s Vineyard economy.”