Californian County Partners with Floating Wind Lease Holders to Identify Economic and Workforce Benefits
The County of Humboldt in California and the two developers that secured floating wind leases in the waters of the county’s coast, RWE and Vineyard Offshore (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners), signed a Memorandum of Agreement on 22 August, under which they will jointly identify benefits of the floating wind industry to the economy and employment in the county.
This Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) memorialises a shared effort to plan for the region’s economic growth, workforce development and overall prosperity as offshore wind developers work in partnership with the county, Humboldt County said in a press release.
The collaboration will see the three parties exploring potential benefits to “successful, sustainable, and equitable economic growth across the Humboldt County wind energy area” while aligning with the region’s existing economic development and workforce planning activities. The economic development and workforce planning efforts will include local oversight.
In terms of workforce planning and development, the County expects additional partnerships and collaboration with this MoA being the beginning of a community-wide effort in this regard.
With the agreement with the County in place, RWE and Vineyard Offshore also reaffirmed their commitment to consult and work in partnership with Tribal Nations, local governments, and the North Coast community.
“After months of negotiating, county economic development staff have reached an agreement with both of the offshore wind developers for the Humboldt County wind energy area to promote a mutually supportive relationship in planning for the region’s economic growth, workforce development, and overall prosperity”, said Scott Adair, Humboldt County Economic Development Director.
“This agreement is a momentous step forward as our community seeks ways to minimize and mitigate any adverse impacts of offshore wind development to our community while also promoting sustainable economic and workforce growth for Humboldt County residents and businesses”.
RWE and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (Vineyard Offshore) secured lease rights offshore Humboldt County in December 2022, following a federal lease sale through which the US Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, allocated five sites offshore California for floating wind development.
According to information RWE and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners shared after winning the leases, their lease areas have the potential to accommodate around 1.6 GW (RWE) and over 1 GW (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners) of installed capacity.