The offshore wind resources of California, and much of the west coast, are world class. While Europe already has over 10 gigawatts of offshore wind online, the United States is just beginning its journey; but we benefit from the experiences, knowledge and lowered costs from that European history. Because of the steep Pacific Ocean shelf, wind projects off the west coast will likely need to employ floating technologies, which allow for much larger wind turbines, and facilitate projects much further from shore; but they also cost more. Tapping this local renewable resource has the advantage of self-sufficiency and local generation, and allows California to maximize local economic development, while limiting the potential of brown power from outside the California Integrated System Operator (CAISO). Offshore wind, which is emission free, also can address the so-called ‘Duck Curve,’ provide increased capacity value and system resilience, avoid additional transmission costs and generate new economic activity and industrialization.
The State has already begun to consider the offshore wind opportunity, in part in response to Trident Wind’s 1 GW offshore wind project proposed off the Central California coast at Morro Bay. At the request of the state, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently initiated its BOEM Taskforce, and the California Energy Commission held a hearing on the topic of offshore wind earlier this year. BOEM also hosted the California Offshore Energy Conference in early November.
Planning for offshore renewable energy can be facilitated and expedited if California brings together the key groups essential to the short and long term success of offshore wind development. That includes the industry, utilities, environmental groups, labor, university partners, key elected officials, regulatory agencies, and essential planning bodies associated with ocean energy and renewable energy projects.
Pacific Ocean Energy Trust
POET is a 501(c)3 organization committed to the responsible development of marine renewable energy. Growing out of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, POET brings ten years of experience working on issues relating to marine renewable energy development, with a special emphasis on policy and regulatory matters, better understanding of environmental effects of marine renewables, and stakeholder engagement.
Business Network for Offshore Wind
The Business Network for Offshore Wind is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to establishing a U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The network is focused on delivering education, creating partnerships and advancing the industry. All membership and event proceeds are turned right back into supporting the industry. Visit our website for more information: www.bizmdosw.org
. Follow the Business Network for Offshore Wind on Twitter: @OffshoreWindUS