UMass Amherst to Launch $11.9 Million Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind with Funding from DoE, Mass CEC, Maryland Energy Administration and Others
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to establish and lead the Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind (ARROW), a new multimillion-dollar national center of excellence to accelerate reliable and equitable offshore wind energy deployment across the nation and produce a well-educated domestic offshore wind workforce.
Led by UMass Amherst with approximately 40 partners, ARROW will receive $4.75 million over five years from the DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and has also received a matching commitment of $4.75 million from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The state of Maryland, the second center of gravity of the proposal with participation from Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University, is contributing $1 million from the Maryland Energy Administration. Other universities are contributing $1.4 million for a total budget of $11.9 million.
Sanjay Arwade, professor of civil engineering at UMass Amherst, is director of the new center, with faculty in the university’s Wind Energy Center serving as co-principal investigators and senior personnel of the research team.
“We at UMass Amherst and the Wind Energy Center are honored to be recognized by DOE with this award,” said Arwade. “With the entire, extraordinary ARROW team we’re excited to build upon 50 years of achievement in wind energy research and education and move the nation towards a clean and renewable energy future.”
With the entire, extraordinary ARROW team we’re excited to build upon 50 years of achievement in wind energy research and education and move the nation towards a clean and renewable energy future.
Sanjay Arwade, professor of civil engineering at UMass Amherst and director of ARROW, the Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind
The center will be a university-led education, research and outreach program for offshore wind that prioritizes energy equity and principles of workforce diversity, equity, inclusion and access. With technical specialization in the reliability and resilience of offshore wind infrastructure, transmission and supply chain, ARROW has three key goals:
- Empower the next generation of U.S.-based offshore wind professionals. Not only does this include training for offshore wind professionals, but it will also enhance the ability of U.S. institutions to deliver comprehensive offshore wind education and establish global leadership in offshore wind education. The center will advance the education of 1,000 students over the initial five-year life of the center.
- Innovate with impactful research for a reliable and resilient offshore wind system built on rigorous treatment of uncertainty. Research will focus on infrastructure, atmospheric and ocean conditions and marine and human ecology.
- Engage with communities to get input from the wide diversity of stakeholders who make up the offshore wind ecosystem. This includes wind energy companies, grid operators, manufacturers, non-profits, insurance companies and advanced technology developers in order to arrive at inclusive and just deployment of our offshore wind solutions.
This academic and training hub will help drive progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035, and net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.
“Offshore wind can play a major role in decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid, and meeting its potential will require skilled workers to propel us forward,” said Jeff Marootian, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “This consortium will provide timely and relevant training and education to help foster the domestic offshore wind workforce of tomorrow and secure a clean energy future for all Americans.”
ARROW comprises eight universities, three national laboratories, two state-level energy offices and many industry and stakeholder groups in other areas of Massachusetts as well as Illinois, Maryland, Washington, South Carolina and Puerto Rico.
“It is thrilling to see the Department of Energy and the states of Massachusetts and Maryland come together to fund this impactful offshore wind center of excellence,” said Ben Schafer, professor of civil engineering and director of the Ralph S O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute at Johns Hopkins University. “As a representative of the Maryland team, Johns Hopkins is proud to partner with Morgan State University and all of the ARROW members to contribute to the energy transition.”
This consortium includes Clemson University, Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Argonne National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and the Maryland Energy Administration. More than 20 other organizations, including developers, conservation organizations, offshore wind manufacturers, a grid operator, community representatives, trade associations, standards organizations, and others, are also anticipated to serve as partners.
“Congratulations to UMass Amherst on this exciting opportunity to spearhead the Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind,” says Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “Massachusetts is leading the way in offshore wind development and innovation, and we are proud to commit $4.75 million to help build an equitable offshore wind workforce that has the skills to meet the climate challenge. We look forward to our cooperative work with the ARROW team to make the Center a success.”
“This award represents another important step in positioning Massachusetts and the New England region as a global leader in offshore wind,” says Rebecca Tepper, Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs. “The Healey-Driscoll Administration was proud to support this project and we are grateful for the continued investment from the Department of Energy. We look forward to working with the ARROW team on workforce development, research, and other bold strategies to advance our local offshore wind industry.”
“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, America is once again leading the world when it comes to addressing climate change,” Congressman James P. McGovern said. “And thanks to the determination of UMass, Massachusetts is at the forefront of the push towards a clean energy future. This major announcement will drive incredible innovation, training the diverse and skilled workforce of tomorrow to achieve our goal of building a net zero emissions economy by 2050. I’m excited that the world-class students and researchers at UMass will lead efforts to decarbonize the U.S. power grid and realize the full potential of offshore wind energy.”
The scholarship completely covers certificate tuition of approximately $6,000, and students receive professional development and one-on-one support in entering the offshore wind industry.