Avondale Global Gateway, CPEX trains state leaders in wind turbine technology

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Images courtesy of The Ehrhardt Group.

New wind turbine technology as a clean energy opportunity for Louisiana took center stage Nov. 10 as a cohort of Louisiana elected officials — state legislators, industry experts and economic development leaders — toured the Avondale Global Gateway and Delgado Community College Advanced Manufacturing site . The trip was part of the Center for Planning Excellence’s (CPEX) PowerUp Louisiana initiative.

The participants heard from tenant Gulf Wind Technology, which is at the forefront of developing wind turbine technology for deployment in the Gulf of Mexico, and Shell Gulf Wind Accelerator, about the development and manufacture of wind blades. The wind technology being developed at AGG is poised to be a driving force behind the rapidly growing wind energy sector in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Offshore wind presents exciting opportunities for Louisiana—and leadership and vision are critical to seizing those opportunities. CPEX has engaged this group of Louisiana leaders first in Rhode Island to experience the Block Island Wind Farm, and now in Avondale to witness to the offshore wind assets Louisiana is building, providing a forum for developing the shared vision that will be the essential north star guiding the decades-long effort to build a robust new industry,” said Camille Manning-Broome , president and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence. “Louisiana’s homegrown expertise combined with newly available federal resources comprise a unique opportunity to recalibrate what it means for Louisiana to be an energy state.”

Participants included legislators Sen. Royce Duplessis, Sen. Mark Abraham, Rep. Jerome Zeringue and Sen. Mike Reese. Other notable industry advocates in attendance included Michael Celata with BOEM, Jenny Netherton of the Southeastern Wind Coalition, Abbeville Mayor Roslyn White, Blake Canfield with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Ashley Shelton with the Power Coalition and Richert Self with the Port of Lake Charles.

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During the visit, CPEX organized a panel on the need to invest in the state’s education system to cultivate the workforce required for the offshore wind industry. James Martin, CEO of Gulf Wind Technology, shared the new technologies that are transforming the possibilities of offshore wind turbines. Panelists discussed the assets Louisiana has to command the space in the offshore wind industry, including opportunities to capture part of the domestic production supply chain, existing port infrastructure ready for the offshore wind boom, research and development to increase energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Adam Anderson, CEO and President of HOST, expressed optimism about the progress being made at the Avondale Global Gateway, stating, “HOST is pleased to host our partners at PowerUp Louisiana. We share the common mission of bringing significant economic development and prosperity for South Louisiana, and these conversations are important to advancing our goals. With infrastructure and logistics hubs like the Avondale Global Gateway available in the region, and with the support of government and energy industry leadership, we can build a thriving offshore wind industry in Southeast Louisiana .”