California Supports Ambitious Offshore Wind Targets

The California State Assembly ordered the CEC to assess the full capacity of offshore wind production and set goals for 2050 planning.

According to projected targets by the state’s energy planning authority, California could realistically and responsibly build offshore wind of about 3 GW by 2030 and 10-15 GW offshore wind by 2045.

It was also proposed that the country develop up to 20GW of offshore wind by 2050. The draft targets were announced by CEC on May 6, and a comprehensive strategic plan for wind energy must be completed by June 23, 2023.

Additional analyses will be issued instructing policymakers on the economic benefits of seaport developments and employment services, as well as the expansion of a regulatory roadmap. The roadmap must be completed by December 31, 2022.

Due to the overall seafloor off the Pacific Coast of the United States, floating wind energy equipment is required to realize California’s 200 GW offshore wind potential growth. 

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, floating offshore wind projects would propel economies to new heights. These projects will also help provide significant job oportunities, climate, and green power advantages.

On the other hand, CPUC included offshore wind for the first time in its newest integrated resource plan, albeit with a low objective of 1.7 GW by 2032. The document stated that it will assess the findings of a CAISO study on the transmission requirements and costs for interconnecting about 8 GW of wind energy, which will be incorporated in the next IRP stage.

In April, Adam Stern, executive director of OWC, estimated that the figures in the CPUC’s plans will increase in the United States. He also noted that this will ultimately give businesses a lot of confidence that somebody is going to collect electricity from the water and transfer it to the grid.

Varner Seaman, ACP-California’s director for offshore wind, described the CEC draft proposal as ambitious but doable. He praised the agency’s efforts to meet the targets outlined by California legislators in Assembly Bill 525 the year before.

When it comes to transmission strategy, California gets the advantage of having a single grid controller in the form of CAISO. According to recent research, there are now no facilities along the West Coast capable of maintaining floating offshore wind installations.

According to Necy Sumait, regional manager for BOEM’s Office of Strategic Resources, CAISO has been vigilant in transmission designing to cater to the requirements of offshore wind, with agency cooperation.

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