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morro bay

A view of Morro Bay, California from Montana de Oro State Park, Los Osos, California. Photo: Mike Schuler

U.S. Proposes California Offshore Wind Sale

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1159
May 26, 2022

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday announced a proposal to hold an offshore wind lease sale in U.S. federal waters off of California.

This proposed sale would be the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on U.S. west coast.

The Bureau Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) will issue a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) that will include three proposed lease areas in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area off central California and two proposed lease areas in the Humboldt Wind Energy Area off northern California. The areas total approximately 373,268 acres for potential wind development, expected to generate 4.5 gigawatts of wind energy which would be enough to power more than 1.5 million homes.

“The demand and momentum around our work to build a clean energy future is undeniable. The Biden-Harris administration is moving forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the President’s goals to make offshore wind energy a reality for the United States,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Today, we are taking another step toward unlocking the immense potential of offshore wind energy offshore our nation’s west coast to help combat the effects of climate change while creating good-paying jobs.”

To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and has issued 25 active commercial offshore wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The California lease sale will be the first in the Pacific region.

The proposed wind sale would be the latest during the Biden Administration, which is planning to hold up to seven of the sales by 2025 in order to achieve the administration’s goal of deploying 30GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. In February, the New York Bight offshore wind lease sale attracted a record $4.37 billion in high bids, while the Carolina Long Bay offshore wind sale held earlier this month received $315 million in winning bids.

Additional sales are being planned for not only offshore California, but also Oregon, the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and the Gulf of Mexico. All revenue from the lease sales go to the U.S. Treasury.

In May 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl, and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California.

The PSN related to this latest sale will be published?in the Federal Register on May 31, 2022, opening a 60-day public comment period and providing detailed information about the proposed lease areas, proposed lease provisions and conditions, and auction details.?

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