CA offshore wind turbines will be floating. Biden administration offshore wind goals are 30 gigawatts of fixed bottom offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035. CA’s goal is 25 by 2035 of floating offshore wind energy.

October, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Natural Resources Water, Oceans, and Wildfire Subcommittee Chair Jared Huffman (CA-02), Full Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chair Alan Lowenthal today issued the following statements on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) announcement of the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Pacific.

“I’m pleased to see the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management moving forward with this process in a timely manner. I’ve always advocated for a swift transition to clean energy to meet our climate goals, and offshore wind meets the mark – not only with clean, green energy production, but also boosting our local economies and creating jobs. I’ve worked with community leaders and stakeholders to identify an agreement that would directly benefit the constituents of California’s 2nd Congressional District, and this final sale notice thankfully includes many of our goals. I’ll continue to work with the administration to make sure our constituents are getting a deal that’s good for them and the planet,” said Rep. Jared Huffman.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at DOI will hold a lease sale for five areas off Northern and Central California on December 6, 2022. Totaling nearly 400,000 acres, the lease areas have the potential to support 4.5 GW of capacity, powering more than 1.5 million homes.

“Right now, nearly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuels on our public lands and waters. This latest announcement of offshore wind energy in the Pacific will shift the balance and enable our federal waters to become part of the climate solution,” said Chair Grijalva. “I applaud BOEM’s emphasis on tribal consultation and union jobs in this lease sale and look forward to our continued work with the Biden administration on building a strong, equitable, clean energy future.”

Last month, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a field hearing in Morro Bay, California on the future of offshore wind development in the state to hear from stakeholders, including representatives from state, local, and tribal government, environmental justice organizations, commercial fisheries, and others.

“As we know, renewable energy is key to fighting climate change – as California experiences record-breaking drought and heat, the time to develop this abundant renewable resource is now. We now also have the opportunity to shape offshore wind development so that it brings the most benefits to communities, protects the environment, and builds a strong union-led workforce. The West Coast has always been promising for offshore wind development – there are large coastal population centers and supportive state laws. And California is ready to become a leader in offshore wind,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal.

BOEM reaffirmed that the December lease sale will incorporate increased focus on creating good-paying union jobs, engagement with Tribal governments and underserved communities, as well as ocean users and other stakeholders. The Final Sale Notice, with information on specific bidding credits for community benefits agreements, workforce training, supply chain development, project labor agreements, and engaging with tribes and underserved communities will be published in the Federal Register later this week. 

America’s offshore wind resources present a significant clean energy opportunity. While there are currently only seven offshore wind turbines installed in U.S. waters, all tied to small-scale test projects, BOEM has held ten competitive lease sales and issued 27 commercial leases in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to North Carolina. So far, these lease sales have generated over $5 billion in high bids and represent enough electricity to power more than 7 million homes.

DOI’s most recent announcement is in line with the Biden administration’s goal of deploying at least 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030 – creating nearly 80,000 jobs, powering 10 million homes, and supporting $12 billion in capital investments annually.

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