Golden State Wind gets California coast area lease


Ocean Winds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board recently announced their offshore wind joint venture Golden State Wind has been awarded an 80,418-acre lease area by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Morro Bay area off the central coast of California.

The lease area is one of five sites off the coast of California that was the subject of an auction held by BOEM. This auction is notable as it is the first floating offshore wind lease sale in the country, and the first offshore wind lease sale of any kind on the West Coast.
Ocean Winds has more than 10 years of experience in floating offshore wind. Ocean Winds has a substantial portfolio of floating projects in Europe and South Korea.

The lease area is in the Morro Bay area off the central coast of California. (Courtesy: Ocean Winds)

Golden State Wind’s winning bid for the lease area OCS-P 0564 was $150.3 million, with OW and CPP Investments each maintaining a 50 percent investment in the project. When fully built and operational, the lease area could accommodate about 2 GW of offshore wind energy, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 900,000 homes.

This will bring the U.S. and California closer to meeting their clean-energy goals of 15 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2035 in the U.S. and 5 GW by 2030 in California, building a new domestic industry, creating jobs for Californians, and boosting the local economy.

As part of Golden State Wind’s bid, OW and CPP Investments commit to investing $30 million in workforce development and supply chain initiatives and to work closely with key local stakeholders to maximize the benefits to California.

“OW is a pioneer of floating offshore wind technology — with nearly 3.7 GW of floating wind projects in development or operations in Portugal, France, South Korea, and the U.K. — and we are ready to bring our expertise to the U.S. as well,” said Michael Brown, Ocean Winds North America CEO. “OW currently has about 4 GW of projects already under active development in the Northeastern U.S., and this is the perfect opportunity to further expand our portfolio and contribute to the federal government’s ambitious floating offshore wind targets.”

“We are proud that our partnership with Ocean Winds has earned this opportunity to help accelerate the transition to lower-carbon sources of energy for Californians and, more broadly, to serve as an example for other jurisdictions,” said Bruce Hogg, CPP Investments managing director. “This investment aligns well with our efforts to reduce carbon emissions across our portfolio while continuing to deliver strong, long-term risk-adjusted returns for the Fund’s contributors and beneficiaries.”

More info