In a development that marks the first nascence of U.S. offshore wind industry even as US President Joe Biden has pledged to support a clean energy and climate change agenda that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, Vineyard Wind has announced a deal to use union labor to help construct the nation’s first major offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts near Martha’s Vineyard.
In a statement the company said, the labor agreement with the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council covers 500 jobs, most of which will go to local workers.
The project, approved by the Biden Administration in May, is billed as the launch of a new domestic energy industry that will help reduce emissions from the power sector.
In a statement Dennis Arriola the CEO of Avangrid which is co-developing Vineyard Wind with Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners said, the agreement “sets a strong precedent” in the new U.S. industry.
The Vineyard Wind project aims to generate enough electricity to power 400,000 homes in New England. The project will begin delivering electricity to the grid in the second half of 2023; initial construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
Over its lifetime the project is expected to create 3,600 full-time jobs.
“Using a project labor agreement to construct the country’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm guarantees union protections for workers on this project, the work stays local, and the workers represent the diverse communities they come from,” said Kristin Wozniak, a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 223.