Interior Proposes Pacific’s First Offshore Wind Sale Off the California Coast

TThe Biden administration proposed the sale of offshore wind leases covering nearly 600 square miles off the California coast, the first ever for the Pacific region.

The Department of the Interior announced Thursday its planned sale announcement covering five separate leases that would make approximately 373,268 acres available for wind energy development. Together, the leases could provide more than 4.5 gigawatts of additional capacity — or enough to power over 1.5 million homes.

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Two of the proposed leases include the Humboldt wind farm in Northern California near Eureka, and leases would also be sold on three additional lots within the Morro Bay wind farm near San Luis Obispo County in central California.

Amanda Lefton, director of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said the proposal “represents tangible progress toward realizing the government’s vision for a clean energy future off the coast of California, while maintaining a domestic supply chain and well-paying union jobs.” create.”

The proposed sales notice contains numerous provisions for lessees, including that they “make all reasonable efforts to obtain a [project labor agreement] cover the construction phase of each project proposed for the leases” and set goals for how they intend to “contribute to creating a resilient and resilient supply chain for the US offshore wind industry”.

The public will have 60 days to consider the requirements and the wider proposed sale once it is published in the federal register on Tuesday.

The development of offshore wind power is one of the top green energy priorities of the Biden administration. It has set itself the goal of providing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

BOEM has conducted 10 competitive leasehold sales to date, several of which were conducted during Biden’s tenure. The bureau awarded additional leases for land off the coast of North and South Carolina on May 11.

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Most of BOEM’s leasing activity has been in acreage in the Atlantic Ocean, but an interior plan released in October expressed the department’s intent to potentially complete seven offshore wind lease sales by 2025, including in Oregon and California waters.

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