An artist’s rendering of the proposed Pier Wind manufacturing platform in Long Beach shows how the floating facility would appear from the water. (Port of Long Beach)

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By Suzanne Potter

August 31, 2023   

In the waning days of the legislative session in Sacramento, climate change groups are promoting two bills which would smooth the way for offshore wind energy.

Assembly Bill 3 would require the state to study improvements to port infrastructure to move power into the grid. And Assembly Bill 80 would research effects on the ocean ecosystem.

Fran Pavley, a former state senator and now environmental policy director for the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California, said offshore wind will help California become energy independent.

“We can create the jobs here, the supply chain, and actually produce the energy here, especially when it’s renewable energy that does not pollute the environment, and helps us reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions,” Pavley outlined. “I think that’s a win-win for everyone.”

Plans are in motion to put floating platforms the size of the Eiffel Tower in federal waters about 25 miles off the towns of Morro Bay and Humboldt, where winds blow almost around the clock.

Alex Cornell du Houx, president and co-founder of the group Elected Officials to Protect America and a former state representative in Maine, said offshore wind has the potential to generate 112 gigawatts of power, the equivalent of 112 nuclear power plants.

“In a state where we need a 3% increase in power every year for electric cars and other resources, this is vitally important to ensure that California is protected but also is prosperous,” Cornell du Houx contended.

This month, 50 key leaders in offshore wind gathered in Long Beach to hear about Pier Wind, a massive floating manufacturing plant proposed for the deep-water port.

Rex Richardson, mayor of Long Beach, said his city has the workforce and the infrastructure to make it happen.

“We need more than 1,300 turbines to be built in order to meet the need,” Richardson pointed out. “We’re unique, because we have space in our piers that will allow us to manufacture these sites right in the open ocean and put them directly on barges and ship them across the West Coast.”

recent poll found 83% of adults in California are in favor of offshore wind.