August 17 (SeeNews) - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the US is checking whether there is competitive interest in the lease area requested by Trident Winds LLC for a 765-MW floating wind farm near the California coast.
The BOEM said Tuesday it is issuing a Request for Interest in the proposed 67,963-acre lease area, located some 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay. A competitive leasing process will be initiated if there is interest from other parties. If not, BOEM will proceed with the noncompetitive leasing process.
There will also be a 30-day public comment period.
Trident Winds made an unsolicited request for a commercial wind lease in January 2016 for an offshore wind farm of 100 floating turbines, each of up to 8 MW. In consultation with the State of California, BOEM has determined that Trident is qualified to hold an Outer Continental Shelf lease.
Earlier this summer, an offshore renewables task force was created to examine offshore renewable energy development opportunities along the California coast. The state is already a leader in solar power deployment and it has a strong onshore wind fleet, which had a combined share of about 12% in total supply for 2015.
Under the California Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) the state aims at 50% renewable energy share in total procurement by 2030. Offshore wind can help much in that direction, said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper.