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U.S. House Energy Subcommittee To Hold Pacific Offshore Wind Field Hearing in Morro Bay, California Sept. 8

California Offshore Wind, Pacific Offshore Wind

Guice Offshore is advising our offshore wind energy provider clients and other interested parties that the U.S. House Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources has scheduled a field hearing in Morro Bay, California on Thurs., Sept. 8, 2022 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) entitled “Power in the Pacific:  Unlocking Offshore Wind Energy for the American West.”

Meeting documents will be updated to this page as they are posted on the Subcommittee web page here

To watch a livestream (and later replay) of the Sept. 8 hearing, click here.  

Guice Offshore (GO) works with offshore wind companies coast to coast.  

“Our growing fleet of Jones Act-compliant, dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels, mini supply vessels and platform vessels is well positioned to help meet our nation’s wind energy infrastructure installation and service goal deadlines, whether it’s crew transfer, service, cable laying, subsea work like scour protection or equipment transportation,” noted Guice Offshore Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Scheyd.

In advance of the Sept. 8 hearing, an update on California offshore wind developments is below.

  • For detailed documentation on Oregon offshore wind from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, click here.

 

California Offshore Wind–Where Are We Now?

 

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

 On Aug. 10, 2022, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a report establishing offshore wind goals and moving the state one step closer to development of the clean energy resource off California’s coast.  Preliminary findings in the report set planning goals of 2,000-5,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045, enough electricity to power 3.75 million initially and 25 million homes by mid-century.

California is home to some of the best offshore wind resources in the country, a power source that can play a major role in helping the state achieve 100 percent clean electricity and carbon neutrality. Offshore wind is a critical clean energy source at night complementing solar energy by providing generation at the end of the day and into the evening as the sun sets. 

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

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

“The success of our state’s climate goals requires all-hands-on deck and we are committed to ongoing consultation with other agencies and those most impacted by the scale-up needed to achieve 100 percent clean electricity,” said CEC Vice Chair Siva Gunda.  

CEC staff will next study the economic benefits of offshore wind in relation to seaport investments and workforce development needs. Staff will also create a roadmap to develop a permitting process for offshore wind energy facilities 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 for development for the first time. As a result of the partnership, in May, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a proposed sale notice for offshore wind leases off the northern and central coasts in areas designated as most suitable for commercial wind energy activities near Humboldt and Morro Bay.  

Plans for renovations 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 Newsom’s 2022–23 budget proposal builds on this effort and proposes an additional $45 million for other needed upgrades at waterfront facilities. 

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

 

BOEM Proposed Lease Sale

On May 26, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced proposed auction details and lease terms for offshore wind energy development in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area and Humboldt Wind Energy Area, located offshore central and northern California, respectively.

The California Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) which included a 60-day public comment period, provided detailed information about potential areas that could be available for leasing, proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures), and lease execution.  The proposal included up to five lease areas within the two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off California for potential commercial wind energy development. The proposed lease areas in the Humboldt and Morro Bay WEAs consist of approximately 373,268 acres (583 square miles) and have the potential to unlock over 4.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, powering more than 1.5 million homes and supporting new jobs. 

Materials related to this announcement are below.

The comment period closed on August 1.

To view comments submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please go to https://www.regulations.gov/ and enter BOEM-2022-0017 in the search bar. Click on docket Proposed Sale: Pacific Wind Lease Sale 1 for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf in California. Comments submitted through traditional correspondence will be uploaded to the docket. Feedback received during the comment period is used to inform BOEM’s development of a Final Sale Notice.

2021 Call for Information and Nominations

On May 25, 2021, the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state of California announced their agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California, enabling a path forward for the Humboldt Call Area and areas within and adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area.

On July 29, 2021, BOEM published the Morro Bay East and West Extensions – Call for Information and Nominations in the Federal Register, which initiated a 45-day public comment period. BOEM accepted industry nominations and public comments until September 13, 2021.

The Morro Bay Call Area East Extension and the Morro Bay Call Area West Extension offshore on the central California coast consist of approximately 90,025 acres (141 square statute miles). 

2018 Call for Information and Nominations

On October 19, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to obtain nominations from companies interested in commercial wind energy leases within the proposed areas off central and northern California. In addition to nominations, BOEM sought public input on the potential for wind energy development in the Call Areas. This includes site conditions, resources, and multiple uses in close proximity to, or within, the Call Areas that would be relevant to BOEM’s review of any nominations submitted, as well as BOEM’s subsequent decision whether to offer all or part of the Call Areas for commercial wind leasing.

On May 25, 2021, the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state of California announced their agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California, enabling a path forward for the Humboldt Call Area and areas within and adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area.

2018 Call Maps

GIS/Shape Files for Mapping 

On August 18, 2016, BOEM published a Request for Interest in California Offshore Wind in response to an unsolicited lease request.

Simulations of Potential Visual Impacts

California Visual Simulations – In response to stakeholder interest regarding visual impacts from potential future renewable energy development within the California Wind Energy Areas, BOEM undertook a project to develop daytime and nighttime photomontages to simulate what turbines might look like if these lease areas were fully developed.

 

What’s New in California Offshore Wind Energy?

BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting: The 5th meeting of the BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force was held on Friday, June 3rd, 2022. This half-day virtual meeting provided updates on offshore wind energy activities, information and discussion opportunities on the California Proposed Sale Notice, and next steps in the BOEM authorization process. Meeting materials can be viewed from this page: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/california-2022-task-force-meeting-five

Press release: Biden-Harris Administration Proposes First-Ever California Offshore Wind Lease Sale

Press release: BOEM Completes National Environmental Policy Act Review of Offshore Wind Leasing in Northern California

Public Engagement

BOEM continues to coordinate planning for potential offshore renewable energy leasing and development activities through the BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, a partnership of members of state, local and federally-recognized Tribal governments and federal agencies. The task force serves as a forum to: discuss issues and concerns; exchange data and information about biological and physical resources, ocean uses and priorities; and facilitate early and continual dialogue and collaboration opportunities.

  • Public Information Meetings and Outreach Efforts
    • California Offshore Wind Energy Planning Outreach Summary Report (2018) and Addendum (2021): BOEM and the State of California continue to work together with the public, Tribal governments, and stakeholders to identify and collect relevant data and information on existing ocean resources and uses to inform decision-making for offshore wind leasing off California.

Environmental Studies

BOEM has funded or considered numerous studies to collect information about the marine environment to support decisions concerning offshore renewable energy development. For more information, please visit https://www.boem.gov/environment/environmental-studies-pacific.

 

Sign Up for California Offshore Wind Updates!

California Offshore Wind Gateway

Sign Up for News and Updates BOEM California Offshore Renewable Energy

Sign Up for News and Updates California Energy Commission Offshore Renewable Energy

 

California Offshore Wind Resources from the BOEM

California related news releases and Notes to Stakeholders can be found in the BOEM Newsroom.  In the search bar, type the name of the state and/or select year of announcement.

 

Witnesses and Linked Testimony For the Sept. 8 U.S. House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Morro Bay California Pacific Offshore Wind Field Hearing entitled “Power in the Pacific: Unlocking Offshore Wind Energy for the American West.”

Witness List 

Panel I

Mr. Doug Boren (testimony)

Pacific Regional Director

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management U.S. Department of the Interior

Mr. Ronald Tickle (testimony)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Real Property

U.S. Department of Defense

 

Panel II

Ms. Kourtney Vaccaro (testimony)

Lead Commissioner for Offshore Wind

California Energy Commission

Ms. Violet Sage (testimony)

Chairwoman

Northern Chumash Tribal Council

Ms. Dawn Ortiz-Legg (testimony)

Supervisor, District 3

San Luis Obispo County

Mr. Jordan Cunningham (testimony)

Assemblyman,

35th District State of California

 

Panel III

Mr. Matthew Arms (testimony)

Director of Environmental Planning

Port of Long Beach

Mr. Jeremiah O’Brien (testimony)

Vice President

Morro Bay Commercial Fisherman’s Organization

Mr. Josh Boswell (testimony)

Vice President, Policy and Economic Development

REACH Central Coast

Ms. Debbie Arnold (testimony)

Supervisor, District 5

San Luis Obispo County

 

Panel IV

Mr. Adam Stern (testimony)

Executive Director

Offshore Wind California

Mr. Eddie Ahn (testimony)

Executive Director

Brightline Defense

Mr. Mark Simonin (testimony)

Business Manager

IBEW Local 639

Mr. Aaron Bergh (testimony)

Founder of Calwise Spirits Co. &

President of The Distillers of San Luis Obispo County

 

Video Replay

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