06.12.2018 Maryland Announces Offshore Wind Business Development and Workforce Development Grant Programs
In May 2018, the Maryland Energy Administration (the “MEA”) announced two grant programs to support offshore wind development – the Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program and the Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program.
The Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program (the “BDG Program”) provides funding on a competitive basis to help defray barrier entry costs of Maryland’s emerging businesses to participate in the offshore wind industry. The BDG Program is divided into two areas of interest (“AOI”): AOI 1 and AOI 2.
AOI 1 grants are for market entry assistance, with grant awards of 100% of specified administrative expenses (not to exceed $25,000 per applicant). Grant funds may be used for bidding on specific, identified business opportunities in the global offshore wind supply chain, and will cover expenses such as administrative, legal, marketing, engineering and design, and translation services.
AOI 2 grants may be used for capital expenditure and facility upgrade costs, such as upgrading physical assets for providing goods and services to the offshore wind industry. AOI 2 grants are calculated as the lower of $400,000 or 50% of total project costs.
The BDG Program has a budget of $1.2 million for fiscal year 2019, with $200,000 reserved for total grant funding for AOI 1 and $1 million reserved for AOI 2.
The BDG Program is open to Maryland’s “Emerging Businesses,” including minority owned emerging businesses. “Emerging Business” is defined as a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual or individuals who are certified to have a personal net worth that does not exceed $6.5 million (as adjusted each year for inflation according to the consumer price index).
The Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program (the “WDG Program”) provides grant funding to help prepare Maryland’s workforce for the global offshore wind industry. Grant amounts are the lower of $200,000 or 50% of total project costs. Applicants must contribute at least 50% of total project costs. For fiscal year 2019, the WDG Program has a budget of $800,000. MAE will give priority to applicants proposing training centers for skilled trades required for the manufacturing and construction of an offshore wind energy project.
The WDG Program is open to Emerging Businesses, non-profits, state, local and municipal governments, and academic institutions (including public or private universities/colleges and community colleges). Non-profit, government entity and academic institution applicants must demonstrate that the grant will be used to benefit Emerging Businesses.
The application deadline for both programs is August 1, 2018, with grant award announcements being made in December 2018.
 See Md. Code Ann., State Government § 9-20C-01(e).