BOEM and state indicate planning underway to identify future areas to reach ambitious 25 GW goal

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Federal, state and industry leaders on Day One of the Pacific Offshore Wind Summit joined in highlighting the importance of California moving forward with speed and scale to achieve its goal to deploy a nation-leading 25 gigawatts (GW) of floating wind power by 2045, to create jobs and help meet the state's climate, clean-energy and grid-reliability goals. Speakers at the Summit, hosted by Offshore Wind California (OWC), urged the state to move expeditiously on essential next steps to make offshore wind a reality – including investing in transmission and ports, procuring at scale, a permitting roadmap, supply chain, workforce training, and more lease areas to reach the state's goals.

Last August, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted ambitious offshore wind planning goals, as directed by the state's AB 525 law, to generate up to 5 GW by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. In December, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a first-ever federal auction for California offshore wind, which identified five provisional leaseholders to develop an initial 5-7 GW at Morro Bay and Humboldt off the state's Central and North Coasts.

"2022 was California's year to go big on setting offshore wind goals – 2023 is the year we begin to implement them," said David Hochschild, CEC Chair. "Offshore wind is a foundational element of California's clean-energy future. We're going to build that future together – a future where the clean-energy economy regenerates our local communities and our world." The CEC is working, per AB 525, to prepare a full strategic plan to responsibly develop California offshore wind.

"There's no doubt that California is committed to going big on offshore wind," said Liz Klein, Director of BOEM, to more than 700 federal and state officials, industry leaders and other stakeholders at the May 8-10 Summit. "The lease sale off the coast of California was our first to support floating wind, but we're working hard to make sure it won't be our last. The U.S. has a real opportunity to be the global leader on floating offshore wind, and the Pacific can help lead the way."

"Our response to climate change demands a revolutionary approach like the Marshall Plan," said Senator John Laird, (D-Santa Cruz) California State Senate. "With its ambitious renewable energy goals, California is on track – but now we have to implement these goals. Offshore wind is an essential part of the implementation plan – and a quintessential element of California's climate-change revolution."

"We couldn't be more excited to get offshore wind started here in the Golden State," said Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire, (D-Healdsburg) California State Senate, who is sponsoring legislation to expedite offshore wind while protecting the coastal environment and fisheries and establish workforce training programs. "California's burgeoning offshore wind resource is vast and untapped. It will be a main source of power for the world's 4th-largest economy and help us revitalize coastal economies with family-sustaining jobs. We're moving heaven and earth to make California a leader in offshore wind."

"Our ultimate goal is to advance a sustainable, world-leading floating wind industry. To make it happen, Offshore Wind California has urged the state to move forward on the essential next steps to bring the industry online," said Ruth Perry, Board Chair, OWC, a trade group of offshore wind developers and technology firms. "We're committed to help the state reach its goals of up to 5 GW by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. These align strongly with the Biden Administration's goals of 30 GW for U.S. offshore wind by 2030, 15 GW of floating wind by 2035, and 110 GW total by 2050."

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates California's technical offshore wind potential at 200 GW, with more than 25 GW in BOEM's two lease areas and two wind study areas. Deeper West Coast waters require floating technologies that are already being deployed in other world markets. Reports show that developing 25 GW of California offshore wind will support tens of thousands of jobs, supply up to 15-20 percent of the state's planned new clean energy, save ratepayers billions of dollars, and generate enough competitively priced electricity to power up to 25 million homes. 

Economies of scale and responsible development of offshore wind are essential for California to reach its climate, clean-energy, and grid-reliability goals, while also creating jobs and protecting coastal resources. The 2021 joint agency report found that to reach 100% clean energy, California will need a diverse portfolio including offshore wind, which if deployed at scale will complement other renewables and save ratepayers $1 billion or more in installed clean power capacity.

Offshore Wind California's board member companies include BP, Equinor, Hexicon, Magellan WindØrsted, Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, Principle PowerRWE, Shell and SSE Renewables.

About OWC − Offshore Wind California is a coalition of industry partners with a shared interest in promoting policies and public support for responsible development of offshore wind power in California. Its members are dedicated to providing an independent voice and industry expertise to facilitate offshore wind deployment off California's coast. OWC undertakes public education and advocacy of this renewable resource as part of a comprehensive solution to California's energy needs. OWC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(6) organization. For more information, go to Follow us @offshorewindCA.

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SOURCE Offshore Wind California

Originally published on the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.