California Sets Sail with Wind Power
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced an agreement that opens up the West Coast for offshore wind development for the first time in history. He characterized it as a promising development that could help achieve the state’s clean energy goals, bolster renewable energy sources, and create new jobs and investments in California.
“Developing offshore wind to produce clean, renewable energy could be a game changer to achieving California’s clean energy goals and addressing climate change – all while bolstering the economy and creating new jobs,” said Newsom. “This historic announcement, which could provide clean power for up to 1.6 million homes over the next decade, represents the innovative approach we need for a clean energy economy that protects the coasts, fisheries, marine life, and Tribal and cultural resources we value so much as Californians.”
Initial areas identified for offshore wind development could bring up to 4.6 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy to the grid in the next decade, enough to power 1.6 million homes. As part of the agreement, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to offer a lease sale as early as 2022 within a 399-square-mile area of the Central Coast northwest of Morro Bay and a separate area on the North Coast. The areas were identified cooperatively by the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state.
Under the terms of the agreement, efforts will focus on the use of floating offshore wind platforms with more than 95 percent of the proposed lease sale area located 20 to 30 miles off the California Coast.