EDP Renewables Opens Solar & Wind Technician Training Facility in Bloomington, Illinois
The company hosted an event to celebrate and unveil the facility, which is dedicated to workforce development training for new solar and wind technicians.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Aug. 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA), a leading renewable energy developer and a top five renewable energy operator in the United States, opened the doors of its first Technician Training Facility in Bloomington, Illinois, on Thursday, August 10. Held onsite at the new Facility, EDPR NA’s event celebrated the next generation of clean energy workers who will be keeping its more than 470 operational utility-scale and distributed generation projects running safely and efficiently while supporting local jobs and investment in project communities across North America.
The complex, where knowledge meets innovation and where new solar and wind technicians will gain the expertise necessary for a successful renewable energy career, will serve as a training hub for EDPR NA, which has a vast development and operational portfolio spanning Illinois and the Midwest. EDPR NA’s new center will be a purpose-built space that will set the industry standard for conveying the knowledge base and skillsets necessary to be an effective front-line clean energy worker.
“EDP Renewables’ Technician Training Facility will empower hundreds of aspiring technicians with the knowledge needed to harness the boundless potential of solar and wind energy, reinforcing our commitment to creating jobs that grow our economy and safeguard our planet,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “This is the kind of partnership we need to tackle the climate crisis head-on.”
Bloomington serves as a strategic setting for the training center. It is centrally located to EDPR NA’s seven operational Illinois wind farms – Bright Stalk, Harvest Ridge, Rail Splitter, Top Crop (two phases), and Twin Groves (two phases) – and near many of the company’s other major projects. EDPR NA has been producing more than 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy in Illinois since 2007 – representing a $2.5 billion capital investment – and has continued to expand its operations in the state, enabled by the support of the local community.
“We see the training facility’s mission equivalent to ours in creating educational workforce development opportunities. The technicians who will go through this training facility will be helping to power our homes, schools, businesses, and hospitals,” stated Mboka Mwilambwe, Mayor of the City of Bloomington. “This will be a unique opportunity for skilled trade workers from a variety of technical backgrounds to transition to this rapidly developing sector.”
Given the recent expansion of federal economic incentives, EDPR NA is expected to develop 3 to 4 GW of new operating assets every year for the next few years, spurring the need to invest in the next generation of technicians who will be powering America. The renewables industry offers a unique opportunity for skilled trades workers to translate their experience from a variety of backgrounds into an industry that is rapidly growing.
“EDPR NA will be focusing on defining excellence in how solar and wind technician training should be performed and on setting the standard for the quality of technicians that graduate from the program,” added Sandhya Ganapathy, CEO, EDPR NA. “We’re excited to be giving this vital workforce a space for ideas to flourish, skills to be honed, and for our collective transition to a sustainable future to gain even more momentum.”
EDPR NA plans to continue investing in Illinois and its communities, having disbursed more than $91.4 million to local governments, and more than $118 million to local landowners, with an estimated $1.5 billion spent within 50 miles of its projects to date. The company has created nearly 541 construction jobs and 82 permanent jobs at both its projects and two regional offices in Chicago and Bloomington.
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About EDP Renewables North America
EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA), its affiliates, and its subsidiaries develop, construct, own, and operate wind farms, solar parks, and energy storage systems throughout North America. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with 58 wind farms, ten solar parks, and eight regional offices across North America, EDPR NA has developed more than 9,400 megawatts (MW) and operates more than 8,400 MW of onshore utility-scale renewable energy projects. With more than 1,000 employees, EDPR NA’s highly qualified team has a proven capacity to execute projects across the continent. For more information, visit https://www.edpr.com/north-america/.
About EDP Renewables
EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR) is the world’s fourth-largest producer of wind and solar energy and is present in 28 markets in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia-Pacific. With headquarters in Madrid and leading regional offices in Houston, São Paulo, and Singapore, EDPR has a sound development portfolio of top-level assets and market-leading operating capacity in renewable energies. Particularly worthy of note are onshore wind, distributed and utility-scale solar, offshore wind (OW – through a 50/50 joint venture), and technologies to complement renewables such as storage and green hydrogen.
EDPR’s employee-centered policies have received recognition such as Top Workplace 2023 in the USA, Top Employer 2023 in Europe (Spain, Italy, France, Romania, Greece, Portugal, and Poland), Colombia, and Brazil, and are also included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.
EDPR is a division of EDP (Euronext: EDP), a leader in the energy transition with a focus on decarbonization. Besides its strong presence in renewables (with EDPR and hydro operations), EDP has an integrated utility presence in Portugal, Spain, and Brazil, including electricity networks, client solutions, and energy management. EDP – EDPR’s main shareholder – has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 14 consecutive years, recently being named the most sustainable electricity company on the Index.
EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA)