A state-funded pilot program looks to inspire kids to think about offshore wind with field trips and classroom curriculum.
Virginia’s start, stop and start-again relationship with offshore wind hasn’t scared off entrepreneur Scott Chierepko. The retired Navy SEAL is aiming to construct the premier safety training facility for workers charged with installing and maintaining turbines destined for the East Coast — and beyond. As early as next year, he’s hoping to break ground on 25 acres near Virginia Beach, a region with the potential to be the jobs, training and manufacturing wheelhouse of Virginia’s nascent offshore wind industry. The training niche he wants to fill is just one piece of the larger puzzle of how to build out the state’s wind workforce. “We want to be the company that is the go-to globally for offshore energy safety training,” he says about the $20 million to $30 million enterprise he and a business partner have been fine-tuning for about four years.
State officials were not first movers but now hope to benefit from improved prices and technology for offshore wind.
The backers of a two-turbine test project say they were blindsided by a recent decision to reopen terms of four-year-old contract.
The developer of the offshore wind demonstration will use bird-safe lighting and seasonal curtailment, among other methods.