CEC adopts historic offshore wind goals for California, enough to power more than 25 million homes

For Immediate Release: August 10, 2022

New targets of up to 5,000 MW by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045 will accelerate California’s transition to 100% clean electricity

SACRAMENTO- Today, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a report set offshore wind targets and bring the state closer to developing the clean energy resource off the California coast. The report’s preliminary findings set planning targets of 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045, enough electricity to power 3.75 million households initially and 25 million households by the middle of the century.

California is home to some of the best offshore wind resources in the country, an energy source that can play a major role in helping the state achieve 100% clean electricity and carbon neutrality. Offshore wind is an essential clean energy source at night, supplementing solar power by providing generation late in the day and into the evening at sunset.

“These ambitious but achievable goals are an important signal of California’s commitment to bringing the offshore wind industry to our state,” said CEC Chairman David Hochschild. “This remarkable resource will generate clean electricity around the clock and help us move away from fossil fuel-based energy as quickly as possible while ensuring grid reliability.”

CEC developed the report in coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and stakeholders, including tribal governments, fisheries, and other ocean users. This is the first of several products that the CEC must prepare to create a strategic plan for the development of offshore wind energy, as required by the Assembly Bill 525. It reflects the latest available research on technical potential.

“Succeeding our state’s climate goals requires a hands-on approach and we are committed to ongoing consultation with other agencies and those most impacted by the scale needed to achieve 100% clean electricity. “, said CEC Vice President Siva Gunda.

CEC staff will then consider the economic benefits of offshore wind versus seaport investment and workforce development needs. Staff will also create a roadmap to develop a permitting process for offshore wind energy installations and associated electricity and transmission infrastructure. The entire plan must be submitted to the legislature by June 2023.

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an agreement opening the west coast to development for the first time. Thanks to this partnership, in May, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Managementpublished a draft notice of salefor offshore wind leases off the north and central coasts in areas designated as most suitable for commercial wind activities near Humboldt and Morro Bay.

Renovation plans to prepare for offshore wind activities are already underway at the Port of Humboldt Bay with $10.5 million in funding approved by the CEC earlier this year. Governor NewsomBudget proposal 2022-2023builds on this effort and proposes an additional $45 million for other needed upgrades to waterfront facilities.

To learn more about California’s offshore wind efforts, visit CEC’s Offshore Renewable Energy page.

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About the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is leading the state toward a 100% clean energy future. It has seven main responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.

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