Atlantic Power Transmission LLC, based in Princeton, is backing its support of offshore wind projects with a 10-year, $50 million commitment to workforce development in New Jersey, the Blackstone portfolio company announced April 27.
The funds will be dedicated to creating a workforce hub for the industry — including education, training and research institutions — in the Northeast region and the state, addressing one of the recommendations outlined by the Murphy administration’s New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
In the announcement, APT called the plan a “smart, coordinated approach at this critical early stage in the development of the nation’s offshore wind market.”
“This generational investment will support New Jersey and the development of its workforce that will be necessary to build this new industry and to establish a new national standard for wind transmission,” APT CHief Executive Officer Andy Geissbuehler said in a statement. “Investing in New Jersey’s workforce is crucial for the future of clean energy and this commitment to the next generation of New Jersey families reflects our company’s values.”
The company said it will launch the investment “upon award of its bids to provide transmission supporting the delivery of 3,600 MW of offshore wind power to the existing electrical grid under the New Jersey Offshore Wind SAA Transmission Solicitation initiated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and PJM Interconnection.”
APT partnered with its New Jersey Union Coalition in support of these bids. The coalition includes Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters; International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 825 & 25; Iron Workers Local 399; and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 456. The company also said that as part of this investment it is collaborating with local groups with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, statewide leadership, and Middlesex County academic institutions, including Middlesex College and Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
APT said its project is expected to generate $1.5 billion in economic benefits to New Jersey, including enabling 1,000 jobs per year during five construction years. The company also said it is developing sites to assemble 6,000-ton substation foundations and additional locations to install electrical equipment into substations.
“We wholeheartedly support the APT project with Blackstone,” added William Sproule, executive secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “Their initiatives, strategic planning, and the discussions that we’ve been having even before construction starts is going to be extremely beneficial to New Jersey residents and help create more jobs in the construction industry as well as give us the ability to recruit new members into our union, into our apprenticeship, and provide them with career training and life-sustaining jobs with good pay and benefits.”