Atlantic Shores inks "monumental" union agreement

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Shell and EDF, has signed an agreement with six labour unions to train and hire a New Jersey workforce.

The agreement, described by Atlantic Shores as “monumental”, relates to its bid in New Jersey’s current offshore wind solicitation. The Atlantic Shores project, if selected, could produce up to 2.3 GW of offshore wind for the state, powering the equivalent of over one million homes.

The labour agreement has been signed by Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 456, Local 400 and Local 351, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, Ironworkers International, and Eastern Millwright Regional Council.

The developer describes it as “the strongest commitment to date by a United States offshore wind developer to train local residents and tradespeople, and use union labor and employers wherever possible.”

“Union labor helped to build New Jersey, and if our bid is selected, union labor will be central to building its renewable energy infrastructure and sustainable future,” said Joris Veldhoven, commercial director at Atlantic Shores. “As a developer, we are proud to commit to working with these six unions, training and cultivating a robust offshore wind workforce. We hope this will serve as a model for local labor partnerships in the offshore wind industry.”

The agreement commits to working together to create training and apprenticeship programmes within the state, integrate union workers into the offshore wind workforce, and support the Helmets to Hardhats programme, aimed at helping military and US Coast Guard personnel, National Guardsmen, and Reservists transition to offshore wind careers.

During New Jersey’s offshore wind bidding process, Atlantic Shores proposed multiple size options for its Atlantic Shores wind farm, and a forward-thinking 5-10 MW pilot project for green hydrogen production. Ørsted has also confirmed that it has proposed Ocean Wind 2 in the same process.

According to the solicitation schedule, we can expect to learn the BPU’s decision in June 2021.

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