California reveals offshore wind planning goals

Vestas offshore wind turbine

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a set of offshore wind planning goals, as directed by the state’s AB 525 law, aimed at developing up to 5 GW of floating offshore wind power by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045.

“Achieving 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030 will position the state to meet and even exceed its 25 GW goal by 2045,” said Adam Stern, Executive Director of Offshore Wind California (OWC).

Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom urged CEC to raise its offshore wind target to at least 20 GW by 2045.

Last September, Newsom signed the AB 525 law that directs CEC to establish planning targets for this clean energy technology. By June 30, 2023, AB 525 also directs the CEC to work with other agencies and stakeholders to prepare a strategic plan for offshore wind development, including transmission, port infrastructure, procurement, additional call areas, workforce development, and a sustainable supply chain. Later this fall, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expects to begin leasing at the state’s Morro Bay and Humboldt Wind Energy Areas (WEAs).

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates California’s offshore wind potential at 200 GW, with more than 20 GW in BOEM’s two designated WEAs and three wind study areas. Deep West Coast waters require floating technologies already being deployed in other world markets.

Offshore Wind California’s board member companies include Aker Offshore Wind, BP, Equinor,  Hexicon, Magellan Wind, Mainstream Renewable Power, Orsted, Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, Principle Power, RWE, Shell and SSE Renewables.