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Wind turbines set up in deep ocean water.
System Impact

Developing the Future of Renewable Energy

Developing renewable energy that's both reliable and storable is an ongoing challenge in our efforts to break our dependence on fossil fuels.

One option is wind. Windmills are growing at a rate of 12.6 percent a year. Currently, windmills are an on-demand energy solution. Although they can’t yet store wind power, smart grid storage systems are in development to find a way.

Here in New York, Long Island is a prime location for developing wind power. Winds on Long Island are consistent and reliable, and bird migration patterns are limited.

Windmills don’t need a great deal of wind for power, just enough to move the blades. Each wind turbine produces an average of 1 megawatt of energy, which can power up to 1,000 homes. The goal is to produce 9,000 megawatts of energy by 2035.

According to industry experts, the global wind energy sector continues to grow as demand for green energy increases. New York's new Offshore Wind Training Institute will be a critical component of Governor Cuomo’s plan to expand the state’s offshore wind and renewable energy industries.

The institute will also help rebuild New York’s post-COVID economy and provide high-paying green energy jobs. SUNY schools will play a key part in training that workforce. No doubt, the institute will ensure New York’s role as a leading player in the nation’s offshore wind industry.

What exactly is offshore wind energy?

As the name implies, offshore wind is found off coastal shores, on large open bodies of water, where wind speed is higher and more consistent, and therefore, a more reliable source of energy. Large wind turbines harvest the wind and convert it into electricity for use as power. The wind provides a source of clean, carbon-free energy that can be used to power everything from homes to large industrial plants.

How is SUNY involved in creating the offshore wind workforce?

Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook will establish the framework for the educational, training and certification needs of the country's offshore wind industry. Each institution will work with their partners to scope out job and industry growth needs; develop the necessary research and framework for job training; and create new credentials and degree programs that will prepare New Yorkers for these high-paid jobs.

The two schools will start offering classes in 2021, with plans to train at least 2,500 workers in the next five years. The state goal is to have 70 percent of the New York's power come from offshore wind by 2035.

Other SUNY schools will play a role as well to help meet the additional needs of this long-term project.

What will these wind farms create in energy and jobs?

Together, the wind farms are expected to produce about 1,700 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to power 1 million homes.

The wind farms are expected to create 1,600 jobs, which will need to be filled by a highly trained and skilled workforce. Building and operating the farms will also create construction jobs, with new sites expected in the Capital Region, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island to help support the growing industry.  

Why is this initiative so critical?

According to industry experts, the global wind energy sector continues to grow as demand for green energy increases. New York's new Offshore Wind Training Institute will be a critical component of a plan to expand New York State's offshore wind and renewable energy industries while also rebuilding New York’s post-COVID economy and providing high-paying green energy jobs. With the institute, New York is positioned to be a leading player in the nation’s offshore wind industry.

Sustainability