Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind President Testifies to Urgent Need for Building 21st Century American Workforce to Support Offshore Wind Development

Chris Hart appeared in front of the U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Natural Resources today in support of the Offshore Wind
Jobs and Opportunity Act

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Chris Hart, President and Managing Director of Atlantic
Shores Offshore Wind
, LLC, testified in front of the House Natural
Resources Committee in an effort to advance workforce development for
the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry.

The hearing, “Building
a 21st Century American Offshore Wind Workforce
,” was centered
around the Offshore
Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act
, co-introduced by Congressman A.
Donald McEachin (D-VA), Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA), Congressman
Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and
Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ). The bill would establish a federal
grant program to help educate and train the next generation of American
offshore wind workers, prioritizing grants to community colleges and
organizations that service minority populations, and those helping
workers from other industries transition to the offshore wind industry.

“If the U.S. offshore wind industry is to meet our mission of delivering
safe, sustainable energy, we will need to hire many more workers, and
these jobs will require hard hats and specific skillsets acquired with
the proper training,” Dr. Hart stated in his testimony. “A recent study
found the industry will need to employ more than 35,000 full-time
employees to support 8 gigawatts of offshore wind. A similar report by
McKinsey showed this number is roughly equivalent to a quarter of the
domestic labor force employed by the oil and gas industry.”

The April 2019 report
by McKinsey also identified significant concerns with the lack of
adequate training and size of the skilled labor pool for offshore wind.
The report noted that skilled trade workers, operations and maintenance
technicians, and water transportation workers are integral to offshore
wind project sites but are in short supply.

Dr. Hart stated that the proposed legislation would help address this
issue by fostering collaboration between the Interior Department,
offshore developers, local governments and labor groups to ensure
individuals can obtain skills and training necessary to compete in this
global industry. He went on to note that economic development and job
training needs were not limited to the states where the turbines are
located. In fact, the offshore wind industry plans to build upon
domestic infrastructure and expertise in manufacturing offshore oil and
gas structures and shipbuilding and transfer those resources to the
offshore wind context. There is also a significant amount of
transferrable skills from the onshore wind industry, which currently
supports 114,000 jobs across all 50 states.

Chairman Alan Lowenthal stated that offshore wind plays a key role in
our clean energy future, pointing out that the offshore wind energy
potential for the United States is nearly double that of the nation’s
current electricity use.

“Offshore wind is good for our planet, it is good for our economy, and
it is good for national security,” he stated during the hearing. “We are
well positioned for long-term success,” he added in regards to offshore
wind, but, “we must pursue it as aggressively as possible while, of
course, making sure that we take in to account the needs of other
stakeholders including fisherman and our military.”

Atlantic Shores, a joint
between EDF Renewables and Shell New Energies, plans to
develop a 183,000-acre lease area in federal waters off the coast of New
Jersey. The lease area has the potential to generate 2,500 megawatts of
clean, renewable offshore wind energy – enough to power nearly one
million homes.

Prior to leading Atlantic Shores, Dr. Hart led various teams in the
offshore environment for 23 years, including ten years of active duty
service as a Special Operations Officer in the U.S. Navy and five years
at ExxonMobil working on offshore energy projects. Dr. Hart also founded
the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to develop and implement a
six-year, $500 million National Offshore Wind Strategy.

States, especially along the East Coast, continue to establish renewable
energy standards requiring certain percentages of the energy come from
renewable sources, including commitments to offshore wind. It is
projected that over 18 gigawatts of offshore wind power will be
contracted between 2020 and 2030 as a result.

About Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC:

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC is a 50/50 partnership between Shell
New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America. The joint venture
formed in December 2018 to co-develop a 183,353-acre lease area located
approximately 8-20 miles off the New Jersey coast between Atlantic City
and Barnegat Light. Atlantic Shores is strategically positioned to meet
the growing demands of renewable energy targets in New York, New Jersey
and beyond, with strong and steady wind resources close to large
population centers with associated electricity demand. Atlantic Shores,
once fully developed, has the potential to generate 2,500 MW of clean,
renewable wind energy – enough to power nearly one million homes. The
capital and expertise needed to develop such a large area is
significant. Together, Shell and EDF Renewables have the investment
capability and industry experience to bring this project to scale
safely, efficiently and cost effectively. For more info:


Erin Dennis, +1 (607) 259-0607