NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — One of the largest wind turbine maintenance companies in the world, GEV Wind Power, has decided to make Quonset Business Park the location of their new United States Headquarters.
Gov. Gina Raimondo announced on June 24 that GEV would be making the Ocean State its stateside home base. The announcement came after approval from the Board of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to give GEV tax credits under the Qualified Jobs Tax Credit program for up to $1.93 million over a 10-year period.
“Rhode Island is a national leader in offshore wind, and I’m thrilled that GEV Wind Power is choosing our state for its U.S. headquarters,” Raimondo said. “Over the past few years, we’ve created nearly 7,000 clean energy jobs and are on track to meet our goal of increasing renewable energy tenfold by next year. As this industry continues to grow, we will keep working to ensure Rhode Island remains the economic epicenter of offshore wind in the United States.”
“We are very pleased that one of the world’s leading wind turbine maintenance companies, GEV Wind Power, has decided to establish their U.S. headquarters right here in Rhode Island,” Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said. “This agreement will strengthen our renewable energy supply chain and will enable Rhode Islanders to access clean energy careers. We are grateful for Governor Raimondo’s vision and leadership in this key area.”
GEV’s headquarters will allegedly create approximately 125 jobs for blade technicians, support staff and management. It will not be until after the number of jobs and wages are created that the actual tax credit amount the company receives will be determined. Qualified Jobs tax credits can only be awarded after jobs are created and begin to generate state income tax withholdings.
The company committed to maintaining the jobs for at least 12 years. Based on a third-party analysis by Appleseed Inc. from New York City, over the 12-year period, Rhode Island is projected to realize a net increase of $3.5 million in personal income, sales, and business corporation taxes resulting from the new hires.
The analysis also projected an increase of $13.67 million in Rhode Island’s annual GDP once the new hires are in place.
According to Daniel Boon, general manager for GEV, the company is going to sign their lease with Quonset soon and has already started recruitment for the facility. They’ll be working with the Department of Labor and Training to prepare advertisements and get out to some job fairs.
Currently, GEV already has a few blade technicians from Rhode Island who are working on a project in Indiana. Boon said the company is still recruiting for blade technician or similar positions, but also will have plenty of positions for office-related work such as project administrators and coordinators.
GEV will also set up a training center to help prepare people for the offshore industry, including safety training. Boon said they’re looking to train as many people as they can.
“We are truly excited about setting up our base in Rhode Island where Governor Raimondo and Commerce Secretary Pryor’s welcome party and support for the industry has been incredible,” Boon said. “As we gear up, there will be a tangible opportunity for Rhode Islanders to come and talk to us about the options for an exciting career in wind energy and join what is becoming one of America’s fastest growing industries.”
According to Boon, GEV also looked into Massachusetts to set up their headquarters, but ultimately decided on Rhode Island because they found it more “hospitable.” They also want to take advantage of the state’s offshore wind farms and composite experience in the area.
He said Bristol and Newport were looked at as potential headquarters, but Quonset seemed like the right fit because of the larger space and ferry out to Block Island.
This isn’t the first, or likely the last, of offshore wind industry developments in Rhode Island. The state was home to the first offshore wind farm in the country, and recently announced the start of the Revolution Wind project.
The project is sponsored by Ørsted and Eversource, who pledged $4.5 million to support offshore wind education and supply chain development to catalyze growth for offshore wind industry in the state. Currently, there are approximately 16,000 jobs in the state’s “clean” energy economy, which is a 74% increase since 2014.
One objective of Revolution Wind is to create more than 800 jobs and potentially create enough energy to power half the homes in Rhode Island.