According to an industry-sponsored study, the development of 7,000 MW (7 GW) of wind farms offshore in the Mid-Atlantic region could create 70,000 jobs from the states of Virginia to New Jersey. That’s enough power for up to about 2.3 million homes.
This development could have a combined economic impact of $19 billion on the states mentioned and increase local, state, and federal revenue by $4.6 billion.
This study was conducted for the Atlantic Wind Connection and released during AWEA’s annual conference in Virginia Beach.
It wasn’t explicitly stated whether the 7,000 jobs would be permanent. However, the study said that “50,000 jobs would be created by the effect of added economic activity — restaurants and groceries, for instance.”
While the study report lacks details, there are some key notes worth mentioning.
There are quite a few different jobs involved in getting a wind farm to an operational state, including wind turbine assembly line operators (which build the turbines), installers, transport workers, and more. Here’s a look at a handful of these jobs:
- Employees of steel, aluminium, copper, and fiberglass factories which prepare these raw materials for use in wind turbine factories.
- People that load turbines onto trucks and drive them to their destination.
- Inspectors that inspect the safety of the turbines.
- Contractors that assemble the wind farms.
- Transmission line contractors that construct the power transmission lines required to transmit the wind power from the offshore wind farms to land.
- Meteorologists that study offshore areas and determine which are best for wind farms.
The study said those jobs would be created by a new “industrial base” which is required to manufacture, build, operate and maintain wind farms, and an additional 40,000 jobs would be needed to serve the supply chain.
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The job growth would be realized over a 10-year buildout of the offshore industry.
“These findings highlight the unique opportunity our nation has for stimulating a brand new industry by developing this limitless, yet untapped, resource,” said Bob Mitchell, CEO of Atlantic Wind Connection.
As is the case with all “studies,” this study is based on various assumptions. The report results were just published in the Washington Post today. We’ll see if anything else comes out of it.