BOEM to consult on offshore wind area extensions in California

Wind turbines at sea. Author: Harvey Barrison. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

July 29 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Wednesday said it is taking forward the federal wind leasing process off the coast of California with two actions.

One is a move to determine industry interest in two new areas -- the Morro Bay Call Area East and West Extensions -- that are adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area off central California, originally identified in 2018. BOEM will include these extensions in its overall analysis of the Morro Bay 399 Area.

The second action is that BOEM has formally designated the 132,369-acres (53,568 ha) Humboldt Wind Energy Area (WEA) and will now conduct an environmental assessment (EA) of this area located offshore northern California. The agency is asking for public comments on what should be analysed as part of the EA.

The Morro Bay Call Area East Extension and the Morro Bay Call Area West Extension consist of about 90,025 acres. A Call for Information and Nominations with respect to them will be published on July 29, which will open a 45-day comment period.

BOEM said the announcement is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s objective for the US to develop 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and follows an agreement in May between the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state of California to advance areas for wind energy development offshore northern and central California. It was announced then that the initial areas could support up to 4.6 GW of offshore wind.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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