Outside of the turbine, the biggest short-term opportunity from being first in the water is creating the “know-how” value chain with skilled workers and companies. Job possibilities range from vessel captains to turbine technicians. Among some of the less obvious jobs are divers, cable specialists, shipbuilding, and geologists. The foundation for a turbine alone is a massive structure requiring commodities like steel, rebar, and concrete not to mention a large labor force.
From start to finish, a report by PMSS, "Life of an Offshore Wind Farm " offers an in-depth look at what kind of jobs and skills are required to build a project.
The United Kingdom's Crown Estate published "Your Career In Offshore Wind"; a useful report on the variety of offshore wind jobs and the skills needed to fill them.
Job numbers tend to vary from study to study, but overall the numbers are large. For example, a U.K. study suggests their offshore wind industry could create as many as 215,000 jobs by 2030. For all of Europe, EWEA expects wind energy employment, in general, will rise over the coming years to 280,000 by 2015 and 450,000 by 2020.
LEEDCo's Economic Impact Study sponsored by NorTech
A recent study estimates the potential economic impact of not only Icebreaker, but subsequent deployments. Key industries expected to enjoy the most growth: construction, machinery manufacturing, fabricated metal manufacturing, water transportation, professional and technical services, electrical equipment manufacturing, plastics products manufacturing and primary metals manufacturing. In addition, research and development related activities are already underway with Ohio's colleges and universities and continued support of Ohio's role in wind energy will help attract and keep a skilled workforce in Northeast Ohio.