Equinor Charts Its Course In California With Atlas Wind 


Emeryville, CA – Today, Equinor announced the name of its floating offshore wind project off the coast of California, Atlas Wind. The lease area, which lies 60 miles from Morro Bay, has the capacity to provide over 2 gigawatts (GW) of reliable, renewable power, enough to power 1.7 million California homes once complete. 

“Atlas is a symbol of strength and fortitude, and most importantly perseverance, as we bring tested, world-class technology to California’s Central Coast,” says Molly Morris, President Equinor Renewables Americas. “Courageousness is one of our company’s core values and Atlas is a perfect representation of forward momentum. As leaders in the energy transition and global floating offshore wind, we’re excited to play a key role in responsibly developing this industry off the coast of California to help the state achieve its climate goals.”

California is poised to become a growing force in the US energy transition with a nation-leading target of 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2045. Approximately two-thirds of the United States’ offshore wind energy potential lies in deep coastal waters, like the Pacific Ocean, where water depths reach 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) or more. Water depths of this magnitude are too deep for traditional bottom fixed foundations, and instead require floating offshore wind technology. 

As the developer of the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland, and the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen in the North Sea, Equinor is the world’s leading floating offshore wind operator and developer.  

In addition to the state’s commitment to renewable energy sources, offshore wind complements solar energy by bolstering reliability in the evening, when solar generation decreases and user demand increases. The passage of recent legislation, establishing a centralized procurement system, paves the way forward for affordable, diverse, and clean energy sources for residents and further develops the infrastructure needed to advance the offshore wind industry.  

“California has some of the best offshore wind resources in the country and support from state leadership to deliver on these offshore wind goals,” said Martin Goff, Project Director, Atlas Wind in Equinor.  “Beyond providing energy reliability, offshore wind will create equitable opportunities through jobs and investment in the state. While this is just the beginning of our development of Atlas Wind, we’ve already begun engaging with local residents, the fishing industry, and tribal communities and are committed to continuing outreach as we progress the project.”

In 2024, marine and aerial wildlife surveying in the lease area will begin, providing the data necessary to guide understanding of the seabed floor and marine habitats. Equinor’s team continues to meet with residents, fishing industry, and tribal communities in preparation for survey activities for Atlas Wind.

The United States is a key market for Equinor’s growing offshore wind portfolio. On the East Coast, through a joint venture with bp, the company is developing Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. Upon completion, the projects will provide 3.3 GW of offshore wind energy to New York, or enough to power 2 million homes.

For more information, check out www.equinorcalifornia.com.


For media inquiries:

Tibi Dean, Senior Communications Advisor, Equinor Renewables Americas



David Schoetz, Senior Communications Manager, Equinor Renewables Americas



About Equinor Renewables US

Equinor is one of the largest offshore wind developers in the U.S., where it operates two lease areas, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. Together, Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 have the potential to provide New York State with 3.3 gigawatts (GWs) of energy —enough to power nearly two million homes.

Equinor’s ambition is to be a leading company in the energy transition. By 2030, the company aims to develop profitable growth in renewables and install 12-16 GW renewables .


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