The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has allocated a combined $1 million for two new grant programs specifically targeting the offshore wind industry: the Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program and the Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program.
The Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program supports Maryland’s emerging businesses, including minority-owned emerging businesses looking to participate in the global offshore wind industry. MEA says it seeks to jump-start the state’s offshore wind supply chain by providing grant funding to help offset upfront barrier costs in market-entry assistance, as well as in capital expenditures and facilities upgrades.
The Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program will provide grant funding on a competitive basis to ensure Maryland has a ready and able workforce capable of contributing to the construction, installation, and operations and maintenance of an offshore wind farm. The program is open to businesses, including minority-owned emerging businesses; nonprofits; and state, local, and municipal governments and their agencies/institutions.
Mary Beth Tung, MEA’s director, formally announced the programs during her welcome speech at the 2017 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum, which is hosted annually by the Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW). The year’s conference took place in Annapolis, Md., this week.
MEA and BNOW formed a partnership in 2014 to organize and prepare Maryland businesses entering the offshore wind industry. The two newly announced programs build on the work of this partnership.