Offshore wind development in California

When I wrote my previous post, the status of offshore commercial developments in California seemed to be stagnant. Last October, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), part of Interior Department which coordinates federal and state planning and permitting, announced three sites for lease along the long coastline of California, two in the central coast, near Hearst Castle and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and one off Redwood coast in Northern California. BOEM called for interested developers to submit nominations within these sites, and seeks public opinions over the next 100 days. Details can be found from BOEM’s website (https://www.boem.gov/California/). Potential contenders for bidding include Castle Wind and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA). The information of Castle Wind’s proposal has been introduced in the post of Public information session’. RCEA partners with Principle Power, EDPR Offshore North America LLC, and Aker Solutions. It plans to develop a 100-150 MW floating offshore wind farm about 20 miles off the coast of Eureka.

If the industry leaps the hurdles like technological challenges and conflicts with military, wind farms are expected to generate electricity around 2025. It’s exciting to see offshore wind developments in California come closer to reality. However, as the process starts to move quickly, I wish that the government can reveal more information about how they chose the called areas and what data layers they used. Documents with details would be helpful not just for these leases but for future projects.

Update on May in 2019: 14 companies expresses their interest in commercial development. 11 of them applied for the lease in Morro Bay and Diablo Canyon call areas.

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