The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published a request for information from the public and to determine interest from industries in offshore wind energy development in central California.
The areas involved are within the Morro Bay Call Area East and West Extensions, a 399-square-mile area of central California.
BOEM has also formally designated the Humboldt Wind Energy Area in offshore northern California, and will proceed with an environmental review of that area.
“If approved for offshore wind energy development, these areas could bring us closer to reaching this administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030,” said BOEM director Amanda Lefton.
“While we are still in the initial stages of BOEM’s leasing process, today’s announcement reflects years of working with ocean users, Tribal governments and local, state, and federal agencies to obtain the best available information to reduce potential conflicts,” said Thomas Liu, acting Pacific Region director of BOEM.
Offshore wind energy development can help California reach its goal of 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045, as well as create good-paying union jobs, and foster investments in coastal communities. Offshore wind resources are typically stronger and more consistent than winds over land and are especially strong in the evening hours when solar energy production drops off, ensuring that offshore wind energy can make an important contribution to California’s electric grid.
The east and west extensions consist of about 141 square statute miles, or 90,025 acres.
BOEM published the call for information in the Federal Register on July 29, which started a 45-day public comment period.
The bureau also will use these comments as input for its consultation under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Additional information on how to comment can be found at https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/humboldt-wind-energy-area.