Offshore wind is a key piece in President Joe Biden’s push to fight climate change. His administration envisions installing enough wind turbines along the country’s coasts by 2030 to generate 30 gigawatts of electricity.
Federal officials have identified two areas for possible development along California’s sprawling coast: one off Humboldt County in the north and the other near Morro Bay in the central part of the state. Both will likely be handled in a single sale, said Amanda Lefton, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
“Let me be clear: We are going to hold a statewide offshore wind energy lease sale here in California this year,” Lefton said Tuesday at the Pacific Offshore Wind Summit. A proposed sale notice will be released this spring with lease terms, she said.
The sale will probably be held in the fall, said Laura Daniel-Davis, a principal deputy assistant secretary with the Interior Department. That lines up with a time line the Biden administration unveiled last year for opening up wind development along the Pacific coast.
While offshore wind turbines have been used for years in Europe, California presents a distinctive challenge. Because the seabed off the state’s coast plunges just a few miles from shore, wind turbines will need to float on the water — rather than being bolted to the ocean floor.