With the goal of accelerating the growth of the state’s wind energy innovation ecosystem, supporting emerging companies, spurring the development of novel technologies and supplying trained professionals to the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector, the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the UNO Research & Technology Foundation, has announced the launch of the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO.
The hub will be located at The Beach at UNO, the University’s research and technology park.
“I am very excited to be at the forefront in creating programming and an entrepreneurial environment to support the growth of wind energy in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “The demand for training, talent development, research and business development will grow over the next few years, and the University and The Beach at UNO are perfectly positioned to support and serve that industry.”
Louisiana’s 2022 climate action plan includes a goal of 5 gigawatts of offshore wind power generation by 2035, citing the availability of wind power as a potential energy resource from the Gulf of Mexico and the state’s advantage as a strong offshore energy-producing state. The plan says the goal requires strategic collaboration across Louisiana state agencies and the federal government, transmission planning agencies, energy regulators, utilities and the private sector to help advance the development of offshore wind power generation. The hub will create an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation, leveraging regional and international industry partners.
“RWE applauds the University of New Orleans and its partners for the creation of the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO. Today’s announcement places UNO at the forefront of the next energy revolution for the State of Louisiana and the nation,” said Sam Eaton, executive vice president of offshore wind development, RWE Renewables Americas. “On the heels of the historic Louisiana Climate Action Plan, which includes a goal of 5GW of offshore wind, UNO’s investment in the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub will accelerate the state’s leadership in clean energy and offshore wind, built upon a deep legacy in ocean energy.”
RWE is one of the world’s leading companies in offshore wind, active in all stages of the industry from project conception and development to construction, as well as operation and maintenance. The company’s expertise has resulted in 18 wind farms in operation.
“This excellent initiative from the University of New Orleans has the potential to positively impact the transition of workforce to the emerging opportunity of offshore wind. Gulf Wind Technology values this contribution, and it aligns well with our own work on technology development,” said James Martin, CEO of Gulf Wind Technology, an Avondale, Louisiana-based company dedicated to improving the economic performance of operational wind farms and innovating in the field of rotors.
Here are some of the key activities that will take place at the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO, as well as other developments related to wind energy at UNO:
• Startup incubation support and services. The hub will provide business planning, regulatory guidance, grant development and fundraising support for startups in the wind energy field.
• Wind innovation programming. The hub will hold seminars, roundtables and networking events to connect stakeholders in the field and accelerate the offshore wind ecosystem.
• Seed technology commercialization grants. The hub will fund research at UNO to accelerate the development of translatable technologies and new intellectual property in the field of wind energy.
• UNO Wind Scholars Program. The hub will award scholarships to select UNO engineering students who take coursework relevant to offshore wind energy. The scholars will also get hands-on training through internships with an offshore wind engineering firm or developer.
• Offshore wind certificates. UNO’s Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) division is offering certificates related to the offshore wind industry. Learners can now enroll in courses in Data Analytics, with real-world offshore wind energy data, and Offshore Wind Economics for Complete Beginners.
“The Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO is the prime example of what can be developed through our invaluable partnership with the University and the private sector,” said Rebecca Conwell, president and CEO of the UNO Research and Technology Foundation. “We are thrilled to create an environment for students and entrepreneurs to become the leaders of offshore wind energy in Louisiana.”
Building and operating the infrastructure of the offshore wind energy sector will be worth $109 billion to businesses in their supply chain over the next 10 years, according to a report from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, a group affiliated with the University of Delaware.
“Every movement needs a home,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “With the establishment of the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO, the University of New Orleans is planting a flag in the steady breeze of progress, and declaring itself an important headquarters for the rapidly growing offshore wind movement in Louisiana.”
To learn more about the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at UNO, visit www.lawindhub.com. Professionals who are interested in collaborating with the hub may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Beach at UNO at (504) 280-2800.