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First-Ever Floating Offshore Wind Energy Coming To California; Lease Sale Scheduled For December 6, 2022

First-Ever Floating Offshore Wind Energy Coming To California; Lease Sale Scheduled For December 6, 2022

On Oct. 18, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first-ever U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.  The lease sale takes place on Dec. 6, 2022 for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California.

First-Ever Floating Offshore Wind Energy Coming To California; Lease Sale Scheduled For December 6, 2022
Three of the lease areas are in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) and two are in the Humboldt WEA for commercial wind energy development.

Three of the lease areas are in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) and two are in the Humboldt WEA for commercial wind energy development.

Click HERE to get full documentation on offshore wind activities in California and the Pacific Coast.

Click HERE to view a list of pre-qualified bidders (Page 4).

This sale will be critical to achieving America’s deployment goals of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035.

Guice Offshore, widely considered to be the U.S Flag leader in the operation of dynamically positioned Jones Act-qualified mini-supply vessels and compact, cost-effective multi-purpose vessels for specialty markets such as offshore wind energy, is playing a pivotal role in providing one of the primary needs in the offshore wind supply chain–offshore supply vessels for a multitude of needs, including crew transfer, equipment transport and subsea surveying.   Guice Offshore has worked extensively on offshore wind surveys and related jobs for several years now.  Working with clients nationwide, as well as in the Caribbean and South America, Louisiana-based Guice Offshore maintains its highly capable vessels in accessible locations for quick response to myriad needs of the many industries it serves.

In May 2021, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and California Governor Gavin Newsom joined other federal government leaders to  announce  an agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California. The California sale reflects the leasing path announced last year by Secretary Haaland and last month’s announcement of a new deployment goal of 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035.

BOEM will offer five California OCS lease areas that total approximately 373,268 acres with the potential to produce over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy, power more than 1.5 million homes, and support thousands of new jobs.

“(This) announcement represents years of close coordination and engagement with the state of California, Tribes, ocean users, local communities and all interested parties to move us closer towards achieving the administration’s vision to fight climate change and realizing California’s clean energy future, while creating a domestic supply chain and good-paying union jobs,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “BOEM remains committed to ensuring transparency and active engagement with stakeholders throughout the post-leasing process.”

To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

The California Final Sale Notice (FSN) 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.

To view the FSN, click HERE.

The FSN includes three lease areas offshore of central California and two lease areas offshore of northern California.  It also includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and create good paying union jobs.

Among the stipulations of the sale, 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.

On May 26, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced the Proposed Sale Notice for offshore wind energy development located offshore central and northern California.  During the 60-day comment period, BOEM received valuable feedback on several lease stipulations that reaffirmed BOEM’s commitment to create good-paying union jobs and to engage with Tribal governments, underserved communities, ocean users and other stakeholders.

More information about the FSN and lease stipulations, a map of the area, the list of qualified bidders for the auction, and auction procedures is available on BOEM’s California website.

On February 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the results of the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history–including oil and gas lease sales–with the New York Bight offshore wind sale.  This marked a major milestone towards America achieving the goal of reaching 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.  The enormously successful New York offshore wind lease sale offered six lease areas totaling over 488,000 acres in the New York Bight for potential wind energy development and drew competitive winning bids from six companies totaling approximately $4.37 billion.

A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind energy industry presents a $109 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade.

 

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