Offshore wind makes sense for Md.

I take objection to Robert Borlick’s op-ed about offshore wind in Maryland (“Md. offshore wind projects may hurt, instead of help, environment,” July 12). I have 38 years of experience in high voltage test, maintenance and repair and am a strong supporter of offshore wind coming to Maryland — both because of its environmental benefits and for its incredible job-creating potential.

If not for opportunities at the bottom in my 38-year career, I would have never made it to become a high voltage technician. When I started work at BGE in 1971, there was no job lower than utility worker. Opportunities for education and advancement enabled me to become that $100,000 per year worker that Mr. Borlick mentions. I envision those same opportunities for the factory workers in turbine construction.

I can see a blade construction worker going to CCBC to become a wind turbine technician — the fastest growing profession in the country. Offshore wind employment opportunities range from manufacturing the carbon fiber blades, welding the tower support sections, assembling the Nacelle turbine components, to assembling the bearing housing. The projects will need dock workers, forklift operators, crane operators, barge and tug boat operators — I guarantee you can find someone in the Baltimore and surrounding areas who can do each one of these jobs with a little training.

Offshore wind construction and maintenance work will eventually employ a large number of people, particularly as the industry expands along the East Coast. That’s why the Public Service Commission focused so heavily on the value of being the “first mover” on offshore wind in its decision.

In 2016, there was a 20 percent increase in wind jobs across the U.S. Maryland can become the regional manufacturing, training and employment hub for this burgeoning industry while improving the environment by replacing polluting sources of energy with clean wind power. In communities like Turner Station, my home for over 60 years, these jobs and investments will be crucial to catapult us into the clean energy economy of the future.

Larry Bannerman, Turner Station

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