New offshore wind training center coming to Maryland

AIS Training's Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence
AIS Training's Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence

AIS Training announced that it has signed a deal with welding specialist, ARCON, to develop an offshore wind training center in Maryland, U.S.A.

The new center will be purpose-built at ARCON’s existing welding training school site in Salisbury, Maryland to train offshore wind workers in essential skills based on the Global Wind Organization’s (GWO) internationally approved standards. These skills include GWO Working at Height, GWO Manual Handling, GWO Fire Awareness, GWO First Fid and GWO Sea Survival. 

The center and training courses will be developed in several phases over the next two years to include some of the more specialized GWO training courses such as BTT, Enhanced First Aid, Advanced Rescue Training & Slinger Signaller Training.

The organization expects to run its first courses in April 2020.

Part of ARCON’s existing welding school will be converted for phase one, 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, according to the company. In addition to helping with the design of the new center, AIS Training will take the 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: “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.”

The new GWO Training Center is coming on the heels of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan unveiling 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. 

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.”

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