09/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2021 15:19
As a committed environmentalist and pro-labor and business advocate, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D - Long Island, Queens) organized a conference with industry leaders from prominent wind energy companies, labor and environmental groups, and local manufacturers to create a 'win, win, win' forum for Long Island's wind supply future.
At the conference, which was held on Friday at LIU's Tilles Center, keynote speaker, Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO, and panelists discussed Long Island offshore wind projects, the state of the local supply chain, and what local manufacturers can do to prepare to enter the supply chain. Working together, all groups in attendance committed to finding paths forward to ensure Long Island emerges as the premier source of wind energy in the country. Link to a recording of the conference is available here. Photos from the conference are available here.
As an environmental leader in Washington for offshore wind energy, Suozzi has routinely advocated for New York to lead our nation in the development of offshore wind. In 2020 and 2021, Suozzi sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior calling for the issuance of final Wind Energy Area (WEA) and subsequent lease auctions in the New York Bight. Fortunately, New York has already selected five offshore wind projects that will power over two million NYC and Long Island homes.'Doing the hard work to bring business, labor and environmentalists together can make wind energy a 'win, win, win' for everyone! Long Island's offshore wind resources are abundant and must be harnessed so that clean, affordable, and renewable power can be delivered to fight climate change, provide high-paying, high-skilled union jobs, and make money for New York businesses. We have convened top leaders from our business, labor, and environmental communities to help us grow our wind future. Let's get it done!' said Suozzi. 'The labor movement, government, industry leaders, and environmental groups have worked together to bring offshore wind to the Atlantic Coast. Our progress shows that the way to respond and adapt to the climate crisis is through a high-road strategy with good, union jobs. From raw materials to offshore wind turbines and their key components, as we continue to scale up offshore wind, we must ensure that we are creating union jobs in the United States,' said Liz Shuler, President, AFL-CIO.
Among the speakers and panelists at Friday's conference were: Liz Shuler, President, AFL-CIO; Siri Espedal Kindem, President, Equinor Wind - US; Amanda Schoen, US Public Affairs Specialist, Vestas Wind Systems; Grant Van Wyangaarden, Head of Procurement, Ørsted; Ross Gould, Vice President for Supply Chain Development, Business Network for Offshore Wind; Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Stephen Nolet, Senior Director, TPI Composites; Peter Lion, Senior Advisor, Offshore Wind NYSERDA; and Tom Montalbine, President, Roman Stone Construction.
Quotes from panelists during the event are found below:'New York's offshore wind program is helping to trailblaze the offshore wind industry in the United States. Not only is New York setting an example for other states to follow, but we are sending clear messages to businesses, manufacturers and suppliers that New York State is open for business and with that comes a tremendous opportunity for partnership and collaboration to stimulate the economy and create high-quality jobs for New Yorkers. Special thanks to Congressman Suozzi for hosting this event and supporting New York's nation-leading offshore wind industry,'said Peter Lion, Senior Advisor, Offshore Wind, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)'It's not every day we have the opportunity to grow a new industry from the ground up. Offshore wind offers Long Island and the entire United States an unparalleled opportunity to build a new workforce and supply chain in an exciting and growing field. Training this workforce will require close collaboration between government, industry, labor, nonprofits, and academia. We at Vestas are excited about New York's clean energy future and thank Congressman Suozzi for his leadership as we continue this important dialogue,' said Amanda Schoen, US Public Affairs Specialist, Vestas'Harnessing the power of wind energy is integral to combating climate change and revitalizing our economy. The expansion of the U.S. offshore wind industry, including within New York State, will create family sustaining jobs across the region. Thank you to Congressman Suozzi for his support of offshore wind,'said Grant van Wyngaarden, Deputy Head of Procurement, Ørsted Offshore.'It is our goal to uphold the importance of the Davis-Bacon Act - to protect the wages of construction workers and to protect law-abiding contractors from being undercut by those who don't correctly pay workers,' said Wage and Hour Division Northeast Regional Administrator Mark H. Watson Jr. 'The Wage and Hour Division stands ready with its team of experienced, senior investigators prepared to enforce prevailing wage requirements on DBRA covered projects,' said Mark H. Watson Jr., Wage and Hour Division Northeast Regional Administrator.'Offshore wind is a once-in-a-generation new industry that can grow local businesses, create well-paying jobs, and provide clean, renewable power to Long Island. Developing a local supply chain is essential to capitalizing on these economic benefits and ensuring we meet our clean energy goals. I thank Congressman Suozzi for his leadership on offshore wind and his commitment to building a local supply chain to bring this power to our homes,' said Liz Burdock, President and CEO, Business Network for Offshore Wind.'TPI Composites, Inc. is the world's largest independent manufacturer of wind turbine blades with a global footprint, and we are excited by the US based offshore wind opportunity to provide a significant component of this nation's electrical power through this reliable clean source of energy. Today's conference is bringing together a diverse set of essential players that will make up the supply-chain enabling this industry to flourish and bring high value jobs to the Northeast. We are grateful for Congressman Suozzi's effort and the State of New York for making this event such a great success,'said Stephen Nolet, Senior Director, TPI Composites'Communities across Long Island are recovering from mudslides, record rainfall, and flash flooding from the remnants of Ida. The time to act to fight against climate change is now. Offshore wind is a keystone tool needed to fight climate change and battle these devasting impacts. Successfully transitioning to renewable energy will take meaningful collaboration which means bringing together environmentalists, labor leaders, and industry to plan for a new green economy based on clean, renewable offshore wind. The leadership provided by Congressman Suozzi is essential is this critical battle,'said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.'Thank you to Congressman Suozzi for inviting me to participate in this conference. As a local manufacturer, I am very excited about the endless possibilities to participate in the offshore wind energy projects being deployed in New York State waters. Not only will these projects transfer advanced European technology to US manufacturers, but they will create high paying jobs for the skilled labor force that will be needed to maintain these clean energy systems. Jobs that will attract the younger generation to live, work and stay on Long Island, and generate economic growth and wellbeing for future generations of Long Islanders,' said Tom Montalbine, President, Roman Stone Construction.