California Construction News staff writer
The Biden Administration will hold the first ever sale of offshore wind development rights off the coast of California on Dec. 6, paving the way for offshore wind that could power millions of California homes.
It’s the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development. This sale will be critical to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s deployment goals of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035.
The California Final Sale Notice (FSN), which will publish in the Federal Register later this week, provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions, and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies who can participate in the lease auction.< The FSN includes three lease areas off central California and two in the north. It also includes several stipulations to promote development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and create good paying union jobs. BOEM will offer bidding credits for bidders who enter into community benefit agreements or invest in workforce training or supply chain development; require winning bidders to make efforts to enter into project labor agreements; and require engagement with Tribes, underserved communities, ocean users, and agencies. “The demand and momentum to build a clean energy future is undeniable. I am proud of the teams at the Interior Department that are moving forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the President’s goals to make offshore wind energy, including floating offshore wind energy, a reality for the United States,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Today, we are taking another step toward unlocking the immense offshore wind energy potential off our nation’s west coast to help combat the effects of climate change while lowering costs for American families and creating good-paying union jobs.” The five California lease areas offered by BOEM can produce over 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy and power more than 1.5 million homes and creating thousands of new jobs. California has set planning goals of 2-5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045. Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Climate Commitment, a $54 billion investment in climate action, including a state goal of 90% clean electricity by 2035.