The UK’s number one wind training provider, AIS Training, has signed a deal with welding specialist, ARCON, to develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind training centre in Maryland, U.S.A.
The new centre will be purpose-built at ARCON’s existing welding training school site in Salisbury, Maryland to train offshore wind workers in essential skills such as GWO Working at Height, GWO Manual Handling, GWO Fire Awareness, GWO First Fid and GWO Sea Survival to internationally approved GWO standards (Global Wind Organisation). It will be developed in several phases over the next two years to include some of the more specialised GWO training courses such as BTT, Enhanced First Aid, Advanced Rescue Training & Slinger Signaller Training with the first courses on schedule to run in April 2020.
Part of ARCON’s existing welding school will be converted for phase one of the cutting-edge centre, which will incorporate a 23ft high training tower, climbing and rescue platforms, and a rope access area with capacity for lifting and rigging and fire training.
AIS Training, which is part of the 3T Energy Group, is the UK’s largest wind training provider according to GWO statistics, with one in five of the wind industry’s workers choosing to train at its Renewable Energy Training Centre of Excellence in North East England. It will bring this expertise to ARCON as a consultant on the project. As well as helping with the design of the new centre, AIS Training will lead on obtaining wind industry accreditation, course portfolio development, instructor training and ongoing operational support & business development
Geoff Croft, business development manager at AIS Training, said: We are very excited to be partnering with Arcon Training Services.
“The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing rapidly with several large offshore wind farm projects currently being planned. The U.S. East Coast is earmarked as a key location for many of these projects such as the Skipjack wind farm off Maryland, which is planned to host the world’s largest turbines - GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12-megawatt wind turbines. Maryland was therefore a natural choice to fully support our first U.S. renewable energy training village.
“Studies predict that the U.S. renewable energy sector will generate an estimated 40,000 new jobs nationally by 2030 but finding the right people with the right skills to fill these jobs will be a key challenge.
“As the UK’s largest wind training provider, AIS Training has an exceptional record of delivering highly skilled, competent and talented workers for the global wind sector. We also have vast experience of developing world-class training facilities and see enormous potential for Maryland to become a global leader in wind training. We are very excited to be working with ARCON to help put this area on the worldwide map for wind skills.”
Being located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, ARCON Training Center finds itself perfectly accessible to several airports, waterways and O&M locations. With Chesapeake, VA., Baltimore, MD., and all the other Mid-Atlantic states and metro cities just a few hours drive away, ARCON Training Center is positioned perfectly to support the needs of the region.
Katarina Ennerfelt, CEO ARCON Training Services, said: “Having been a resource already for welding and metal fabrication training, we are extremely excited to partner with AIS Training and begin the first GWO Accredited offshore wind training centre right here in Salisbury, MD. The growth and positive impact that this opportunity will have for the Eastern Shore of Maryland is limitless. We have always pushed and advocated for jobs and continued education in the trade and labour market and to be part of something that will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for people in the Delmarva area is truly an amazing feeling. We have been a proponent of Offshore Wind for years and all the benefits renewable energy will bring not only to the state of Maryland but hopefully as a springboard to the rest of the country. We are looking forward to working with and learning from AIS Training to make this new Wind Training Centre one of a kind.”
The new GWO Training Center is coming on the heels of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan unveiling his details of new legislation to set Maryland on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040. The Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) plan, which Hogan will submit on the first day of the upcoming legislative session, focuses on affordable clean energy, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Mike Dunn, The Greater Salisbury Committee, said: “This is a big day for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We salute Katarina Ennerfelt and her ARCON team for working so hard to make this happen. And we thank AIS for making Salisbury the landing spot for their first ever North American training site. GSC has been solidly behind the State of Maryland’s efforts to bring this emerging wind industry here. This is an exciting opportunity.”
Jake Day, Salisbury Mayor, said: “Over the past five years, ARCON has established itself as an industry leader in welding services education. By teaming with AIS to build a world-class training facility for offshore wind professionals, ARCON is putting itself, the City of Salisbury, and the State of Maryland at the vanguard of the rapidly-expanding renewable energy economy in the United States.“