offshore wind farm

FILE PHOTO: Teun van den Dries / Shutterstock

BOEM Advances Offshore Wind Leasing Process in California

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 477
July 29, 2021

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is moving forward with plans to advance offshore wind leasing off California’s coasts, part of the Biden Administration’s goal of developing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

BOEM this week announced it will begin the process of seeking public comment and determining industry interest for the development of offshore wind sites off central California, known as the Morro Bay Call Area East and West Extensions, consisting of more 90,000 acres.

Separately, the agency is also now formally designated the 132,000-acre Humboldt Wind Energy Area (WEA), located offshore northern California, and will now proceed with an environmental review as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Today’s announcement builds on an earlier agreement between the White House, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, and the state of California to advance areas for offshore wind off the northern and central coasts of California,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “If approved for offshore wind energy development, these areas could bring us closer to reaching this administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.”

In May, the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state of California announced an agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California, enabling a path forward for the Humboldt Call Area and areas within and adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area, originally identified by BOEM in 2018.

“While we are still in the initial stages of BOEM’s leasing process, today’s announcement reflects years of working with ocean users, Tribal governments and local, state, and federal agencies to obtain the best available information to reduce potential conflicts,” said BOEM Acting Pacific Region Director Thomas Liu. “The Morro Bay Call and Humboldt Environmental Assessment offer important opportunities to further solicit feedback from Tribes, ocean users and stakeholders.”

“Leasing the Morro Bay call area could make California a global leader in floating wind projects that will generate investment opportunities across the state, boost manufacturing and create good-paying jobs while helping meet important climate and emissions targets.” said JC Sandberg, Chief Advocacy Officer of the American Clean Power Association

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