Offshore Wind News

This is a resource page that summarizes and updates readers about what’s happening in offshore wind off the West Coast.

BOEM = Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
NOAA = National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

New and notable

Council activities

  • June Council meeting: a discussion on how the Council deals with offshore wind and aquaculture activities will occur during the Marine Planning agenda item on Tuesday, June 29.
  • April Council meeting: Offshore wind issues were discussed under agenda item H2 (Update on Executive Order 13921), and during the Legislative Committee meeting. The Council approved two letters on Executive Order 14008 under Legislative Matters.
  • March Council meeting: Offshore wind and aquaculture were discussed during the Marine Planning Update (3/21).
  • The Council Coordinating Committee sent a letter to Department of Interior on Executive Order 14008 (Tackling Climate Change at Home and Abroad). Although EO 14008 does promote offshore wind, the letter focuses on the EO’s directive to conserve 30% of U.S. land and waters by 2030. (3/12)
  • Process: The Council will be coordinating with BOEM before each meeting to learn about offshore wind and other offshore energy activities. Any announcements will be put in the next Council’s briefing book and covered in the Executive Director’s report at the beginning of each Council meeting. If needed, the Council will hold a webinar to allow advisory body discussions. (3/11/21)
  • Habitat Committee meeting Feb. 24. NOAA presented information related to the identification of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, and BOEM discussed the process of identifying potential offshore wind energy sites. A recording of this meeting is available at the link.

Recent news

State legislation

  • California AB 525. Requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy developments installed off the California coast in federal waters by December 31, 2022.  In preparation of the plan, the CEC, working with other agencies and stakeholders, must evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve certain state goals; identify suitable sea space for wind energy areas in federal waters; develop a plan to improve waterfront facilities to support floating offshore wind energy development activities; and assess the transmission investments and upgrades necessary to support offshore wind planning goals. A hearing was held May 19. The bill passed the Assembly on May 27. (Updated 6/1)
  • California SB 413. This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Offshore Wind Project Certification, Fisheries, Community, and Indigenous Peoples Advisory Committee, which the bill would create, to establish a process for the certification of offshore wind generation facilities that is analogous to the existing requirements for certification of thermal powerplants, but applicable to offshore wind generation facilities, and would make the Energy Commission the exclusive authority for the certification of offshore wind generation facilities.
  • Oregon HB 3375. Establishes goal of planning for development of three gigawatts of commercial scale floating offshore wind energy projects within federal waters off Oregon Coast by 2030. HB 3375 passed the state House. A hearing was held May 13. (Establishes goal of planning for development of up to three gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy projects within federal waters off Oregon Coast by 2030) (updated 5/24)

Federal legislation and information

Useful links

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