On the heels of the Biden administration’s announcement of lease terms for the offshore wind energy project last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said a virtual meeting would be held on Thursday to discuss the next steps in the process. rent.
In addition to notice of a proposed offshore wind lease auction in the fall, members of California’s Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force will hear an update on offshore wind planning and engagement activities , said a BOEM spokesperson.
Biden’s notice of a proposed sale was to be published in the May 31 issue of the Federal Register, which will trigger a 60-day public comment period, and the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to speak about it and discuss it. other items on the agenda. , said the spokesperson.
Public comment is being sought on the terms of the leases, including requirements for dialogue with tribes, fisheries and other ocean users and the negotiation of labor agreements for construction.
Bidders who agree to invest in workforce training or supply chain development for offshore wind would gain additional credit in the process.
However, public comments may lead to changes in procedures before the official sale opens.
BOEM is proposing to auction leases for nearly 380,000 ocean acres in two areas, one northwest of Morro Bay and the other off the coast of Humboldt County.
Together, the two areas could provide 583 square miles for wind turbines with the potential to generate 4.5 gigawatts of energy – enough to power around 1.5 million homes.
This would help bring the state closer to its goal of having 100% of its electricity generated by sources that also do not generate greenhouse gases by 2045, although it will be years before the turbines start spinning in peaceful California waters, BOEM officials said. said.
Yet this decision was applauded by a wide range of organizations.
“This is a unique opportunity for California to become a global hub for floating offshore wind technology, creating thousands of well-paying American maritime and manufacturing jobs in California and beyond while strengthening the supply chain. ‘national offshore wind supply,'” said Heather Zichal, chief executive of the American Clean Power Association, which represents and advocates for the clean energy industry.
“Offshore wind will help mitigate the effects of climate change while increasing grid reliability and improving energy security,” Zichal continued. “Harnessing the West Coast’s abundant wind resources is another key step toward achieving the U.S. goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030 and will put the country on track to achieve the goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.”
BOEM California’s Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force is comprised of members from state, local and federal recognized tribal governments and federal agencies.
Santa Barbara County is represented on the task force by Supervisory Board Chair and 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, and her chief of staff, Jefferson Litten, is the alternate.
Sam Cohen represents the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
The working group serves as a forum to discuss issues and concerns and to exchange data and information on the biological and physical resources, uses and priorities of the oceans.
In addition to meeting registration, the site includes webinar instructions, the meeting agenda, a list of working group members, and a rental process information sheet.