California gov signs into law offshore wind bill

Wind turbines in Dutch waters. Author: Eneco. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

September 24 (Renewables Now) - Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed legislation that calls for the California Energy Commission to come up with a strategic plan for the development of the offshore wind industry in California, thus further opening up the Pacific Coast to the sector.

The AB 525 bill was introduced by assembly member David Chiu in February 2021 and was passed in the Senate earlier this month. The legislation will require the commission to develop the plan in coordination with other relevant federal, state and local agencies, and to submit it to the Natural Resources Agency and the Legislature on or before June 30, 2023.

The strategic plan has to include chapters that cover the identification of sea space, the economic and workforce development and identification of port space and infrastructure, transmission planning, permitting, and potential impacts on coastal resources, fisheries, Native American and Indigenous peoples, and national defence, as well as strategies for addressing those potential impacts.

By June 2022, the commission also has to establish megawatt offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045.

A report issued earlier this year selects at least 10 GW of offshore wind developments to fulfil California’s climate targets and estimates that the total reduction in resource costs would amount to USD 1 billion (EUR 853m).

In late May, US federal authorities announced the advancement of two lease areas for offshore wind development off the coast of California that could host up to 4.6 GW of capacity.

The state has to build at least 48 GW of new renewable energy and energy storage developments by 2030 and at least 145 GW of new renewable energy and energy storage developments by 2045 to meet previously set objectives, the bill notes.

California’s ultimate goal is to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.853)

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