A first of its kind in the US, offshore wind developer Ørsted and North America’s Building and Trade Unions (NABTU) have agreed to a “historic” national project labor agreement (PLA) for offshore wind projects along the Atlantic Coast. The agreement sets better standards for working conditions, equity, and pay standards, a livable wage in an industry that is flourishing.
“The project labor agreement signed today is proof that labor and employers working together can create an equitable clean energy transition with opportunity for everyone,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said. “When we make good on our values — workers’ rights, gender and racial justice, economic equality, and safe and healthy workplaces — then we all win.”
An American union workforce ensures Ørsted’s offshore wind farms in the United States work for present generations as well as for future generations. We will be saying goodbye to last century’s outdated fossil fuels in the best way possible.
Offshore wind power by 2030 will create more than 80,000 new jobs
The Biden Administration has offered and increased the hope that the offshore wind industry will provide good-paying union jobs. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates the Biden Administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2030 will create more than 80,000 new jobs.
“NABTU’s highly trained men and women professionals have the best craft skills in the world. This partnership will not only expand tens of thousands of career opportunities for them to flourish in the energy transition but also lift up even more people into the middle-class,” said Sean McGarvey, President of NABTU. “The constant drumbeat of public support for unions being important to maintain and build the middle class helped secure this momentous achievement. We commend Ørsted, AFL-CIO President Shuler, the Biden Administration and many Congressional leaders for their help and support to make today’s signing a reality and for setting forth a new framework for middle-class job creation in all energy sectors.”
The release confirms that Ørsted has committed $23 million to start, support, and continually enhance the fresh programming that will prepare American workers for jobs in offshore wind. While directly creating approximately 80,000 jobs with 5.75 million-plus union work hours, there will also be tens of thousands more indirect jobs in manufacturing, maritime work, logistics, and clean energy technology.
This has been authorized by 15 International Union Presidents and their local affiliates. The National Offshore Wind Agreement (NOWA) covers all of Ørsted’s contractors and subcontractors that will perform offshore wind farm construction for the company’s offshore wind projects along the US East Coast, from Maine to Florida.
Delaware Business Now Ørsted confirms, with its joint venture arrangements, has six offshore wind projects in development that total approximately 5,000 megawatts of power capacity, enough to power more than two million homes. Along with the ones off the coast of Maryland and Delaware, Ørsted is developing Skipjack Wind, a 966-megawatt project.
America’s workers and our energy future
Ørsted CEO David Hardy said the deal sets “the industry standard” for offshore wind farming.
“The signing of this remarkable agreement is historic for America’s workers and our energy future,” said NABTU President Sean McGarvey. “NABTU’s highly trained men and women professionals have the best craft skills in the world. This partnership will not only expand tens of thousands of career opportunities for them to flourish in the energy transition but also lift up even more people into the middle class.”
Ørsted and North America’s Building Trades Unions: The National Offshore Wind Agreement
More details from the press release are as follows:
“Industry reports a project that offshore wind will directly create approximately 80,000 jobs with 5.75 million-plus union work hours and tens of thousands more indirect jobs in manufacturing, maritime work, logistics and clean energy technology. Positioning the US as a global offshore wind energy leader, the NOWA training and employment provisions will increase union construction workforce capabilities to build complex offshore wind energy infrastructure and propel forward a new commercial-scale domestic energy industry. Portfolio-wide, Ørsted has already committed $23 million to enhance or establish new programming that will prepare American workers for jobs in offshore wind.
“Ørsted operates America’s first offshore wind farm, Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, and has the largest US offshore wind energy portfolio. Ørsted, with its joint venture arrangements, has six offshore wind projects in development, which include approximately 5,000 megawatts, enough to power more than 2 million homes. In New England, the company and its joint venture partner, Eversource, are building Revolution Wind (704 MW), Sunrise Wind (924 MW) and South Fork Wind (132 MW). Ørsted’s New Jersey projects include Ocean Wind 1 (1,100 MW), in partnership with PSEG, and Ocean Wind 2 (1,148 MW). In Maryland, Ørsted is developing Skipjack Wind (966 MW). Today’s announcement builds on the developers’ successful history of using union labor to deliver high quality projects in partnership with local building trades councils like the South Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, and the New York Greater Capital Region Council. Together, the local PLAs and the NOWA, demonstrate Ørsted’s commitment to American organized labor as a true partner in building this new industry.”
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