Leaders At 2024 Pacific Offshore Wind Summit Urge California To Advance Its Strategic Plan To ‘Go Big’ On Floating Offshore Wind, Deploy A Nation-Leading 25 GW By 2045


Praise benefits for climate, communities, grid & jobs by making floating wind part of 100% clean-energy future

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Federal, state and industry leaders on Day Two of the 2024 Pacific Offshore Wind Summit lauded California’s commitment to make floating wind part of its diverse clean-power future, and urged the state to advance plans to deploy a nation-leading 25 gigawatts (GW) by 2045, to create jobs and meet its climate, clean-energy, and grid-reliability goals. Speakers at the Summit, hosted by Offshore Wind California (OWC), called on the state to move with speed and scale on key next steps to bring offshore wind online – including transmission and port upgrades, procuring at scale, a permitting roadmap, supply chain, workforce training, and suitable sea space to reach the state’s goals.

The California Energy Commission is finalizing the state’s draft AB 525 Strategic Plan, which outlines California’s next steps to responsibly develop offshore wind and achieve its planning goals for up to 5 GW by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. Last fall, Governor Newsom also signed AB 1373 enabling the state to procure floating offshore wind at scale. 

“I’m excited to be here because this Summit really is at the heart of the historic progress to grow the offshore wind industry up and down the Pacific Coast,” said Laura Daniel-DavisActing Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior. “We are moving full steam ahead in our efforts to achieve President Biden’s ambitious goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035. Together, we’re building an industry that will transform the way millions of people power their lives, for the better and for generations to come.”

In April, the Department of Interior announced a new five-year U.S. offshore wind leasing schedule with up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales, including for California and Oregon, through 2028. The Department held its first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Pacific in December 2022, drawing bids totaling $757 million and identifying five leaseholders for an initial 7 to 10 GW off California’s Central and North Coast, according to industry estimates

“It’s the power of the wind that brings us here today. We have 2.8 terrawatts of technical resource potential in our deep waters that will be accessed by floating offshore wind,” said Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, Offshore Wind Energy Lead, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “There has been significant progress over the course of the last year as we work to unlock a future in which floating offshore wind is a central part of our climate solution and our coastal economies.”

The federal Floating Offshore Wind Shot™ initiative is facilitating the 15 GW goal for U.S. floating wind, and convenes its second Floating Offshore Wind Shot Summit in Sacramento May 16 after the Pacific Offshore Wind Summit.  Brown-Saracino highlighted DOE’s announcement of winners of Phase Two of the Floating Offshore Wind ReadINess (FLOWIN) Prize, a first-of-its-kind competition that aims to solve the floating wind industry’s most pressing supply-chains challenges.

“California has a tremendous appetite for clean energy and with the work that we’re going to do together, we’re going to continue to build out and exceed the expectations of the people of California,” said Chris HannanPresident, State Building & Construction Trades Council. “Our excitement for this industry continues to grow,” he said of the building trades members and workforce opportunities in the state’s offshore wind plans. “We believe every port can play a role.”

“A few months ago, I had a chance to join the California delegation to the United Kingdom to learn about the offshore wind industry as it’s developing in that country. It was really amazing to have a chance to see some of these awe-inspiring floating machines,” said John ReynoldsCommissioner, California Public Utilities Commission. “The technology is real. That’s a very exciting prospect for a new energy technology and for us in California. I think offshore wind can be a part of our solution to creating an energy system that is safe, reliable, affordable, and meets our climate goals for the future.” 

“California made great progress in the past year advancing its course and commitment to go big on offshore wind,” said Adam SternExecutive Director, OWC. “At the same time, much work remains to bring offshore wind online. To deploy at scale, we need to finalize the AB 525 Strategic Plan and move ahead on offshore wind’s essential next steps. That means investing in ports and transmission, procuring at scale, setting a permitting roadmap, engaging key stakeholders, building a supply chain, training our workers, and defining suitable sea space to reach our 25 GW goal.”

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates California’s offshore wind potential at 200 GW, with more than 25 GW in BOEM’s two lease areas and the waters off the state’s North Coast. Deeper West Coast waters require floating technologies already deployed in other world markets. Reports show that developing 25 GW of California offshore wind can support thousands of jobs, supply up to 15-20% of the state’s planned new clean energy, save ratepayers billions of dollars, drive economies of scale, and generate enough competitively priced electricity to power up to 25 million homes. 

Offshore Wind California’s more than 40 members include Burns & McDonnellCrowley Wind ServicesFugro,  General Dynamics NASSCOPacific Ocean Energy TrustPG&EPort of Long BeachShellSSE Renewables,  WSPVestas, and XODUS.

About OWC − Offshore Wind California is a coalition of industry partners with a shared interest in promoting policies and public support for responsible development of offshore wind power in California.  Its members are dedicated to providing an independent voice and industry expertise to facilitate offshore wind deployment off California’s coast. OWC undertakes public education and advocacy of this renewable resource as part of a comprehensive solution to California’s energy needs. OWC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(6) organization. For more information, go to www.offshorewindCA.org.  Follow us @offshorewindCA.


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