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CA - Offshore Wind California Applauds Biden Administration for Clearing the Way to Bring Gigawatts of Clean, Utility-Scale Offshore Wind Power to the Golden State

The Departments of Interior and Defense have reached agreement on California sea-space and other issues, clearing the way for the multi-gigawatt (GW) offshore wind power.

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Offshore Wind California (OWC), a group of wind industry leaders, applauded an announcement by the Biden Administration today that the Departments of Interior and Defense have reached agreement on California sea-space and other issues, clearing the way to move ahead with responsible development of the Golden State's multi-gigawatt (GW) offshore wind power potential on its Central and North coasts.

"This is the breakthrough California's offshore wind industry and workers have been looking for," said Adam Stern, Executive Director, OWC, a trade group of offshore wind developers and technology firms. "We look forward to partnering with federal and state agencies to map out a path to achieve a minimum of 10 GW of clean, offshore wind power for Golden State residents and workers by 2040.  An interim goal of 3 GW by 2030 will contribute to President Biden's national goal of 30 GW by the end of this decade—from both the East and West coasts.  We commend the Departments of Interior and Defense, with support from Governor Newsom, for reaching this agreement.  To meet these ambitious goals, we'll need to complete environmental reviews, upgrade port infrastructure, build offshore wind's supply chain, and streamline federal and state permitting while protecting wildlife and cultural resources.  Full speed ahead!"

Responsible development of offshore wind will be essential for California to reach its clean energy goals and reduce its climate risks, while also creating thousands of high-skilled jobs and protecting marine and coastal resources. On May 14, Governor Gavin Newsom committed $20 million in California's proposed FY 2021-22 budget as a down payment to spur offshore wind power.  In the state Assembly, AB 525, authored by Assembly Member David Chiu with bipartisan support, calls on state agencies to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind, of which at least 10 GW will be needed for California's 100% clean energy portfolio, according to a recent interagency report.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates California's technical potential for offshore wind power at well over 100 GW, including up to 8.4 GW in the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's current designated call areas. Deeper West Coast waters require floating technologies and these are being deployed now in various markets around the world. NREL estimates that building 10 GW of offshore wind power in California would support thousands of jobs, supply competitively priced power, and generate $20 billion in GDP by 2050.

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