The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) had opened up its Offshore Wind Business and Workforce Development Grant Programs for the 2019 fiscal year.
The two offshore wind programs are intended to work in tandem. The business program focuses on encouraging emerging businesses to participate in the offshore wind industry. The workforce program focuses on developing the proper workforce in Maryland to sustain offshore wind projects in Maryland.
The MEA will provide business program grants on a competitive basis. The 2019 business program budget is US$1.2million, dividing between two areas of interest (AOI). The MEA will initially reserve US$200,000 of total grant funding for AOI 1, which focuses on assistance in entering the offshore wind market. The remaining US$1million of total grant funding will be reserved for AOI 2, which focuses on offsetting capital expenditures and upgrades to facilities.
For the workforce program grants, the MEA will look at applications for new or current workforce development training centers used in the offshore wind industry. Training centers must provide education of technical trade skills and safety standards used for the development, manufacturing, construction, installation, and operations & maintenance of an offshore wind energy project. A priority will be given to centers for trades required in manufacturing and construction of offshore wind projects. Applicants must show how their proposals will benefit Maryland’s emerging businesses, including minority-owned emerging businesses. The workforce program has a 2019 budget of US$800,000. Grants are calculated as the lower of US$200,000 and 50% of total project costs. Applicants must contribute at least 50% of the total project costs.
The application deadline for these program grants is August 1, 2018, with presentations to follow in September 2018 and award announcements to be made in December 2018. Agreements are expected to be signed in February 2019.