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

Council activities

  • April Council meeting: Offshore wind issues will be discussed under agenda item H2 (Update on Executive Order 13921), and some state offshore wind bill will be briefly discussed during the Legislative Committee meeting. The Council is discussing two draft letters on offshore wind planning 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

  • Interior Joins Government-Wide Effort to Advance Offshore Wind
  • Biden administration launches major push to expand offshore wind power. (“The White House announced Monday an ambitious plan to expand wind farms along the East Coast and jumpstart the country’s nascent offshore wind industry, saying it hoped to trigger a massive clean energy effort in the fight against climate change. The plan would generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by the end of the decade – enough to power more than 10 million American homes and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. To accomplish that, the Biden administration said it would speed permitting for projects off the East Coast, invest in research and development, provide low-interest loans to industry and fund changes to U.S. ports.”) (3/29/21) See associated roundtable below.
  • White House Offshore Wind Roundtable (YouTube video) (3/29/21)
  • Offshore Wind Project off Martha’s Vineyard Nears Approval (3/8/2021)
  • March 2021: Two floating wind energy projects have been proposed off California: Cierco Projects’ Floating Wind Demonstration and Ideol USA’s Vandenberg Air Force Base Pilot. The two adjacent projects would be located in state waters offshore of Vandenberg Air Force Base and Point Arguello in Santa Barbara County, California. Both facilities would have four floating wind turbines ranging in size from 10-15 megawatts (MW). The entire development will be capable of producing up to 100 MW of renewable electricity. (From Habitat Committee report 3/3/21).

State legislation

  • California AB 525. This bill would require the Energy Commission, in coordination with specified agencies, to develop a strategic plan to achieve a goal of at least 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy developments installed off the California coast by 2040, with an interim target of 3,000 megawatts installed by 2030. 
  • 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.

Federal legislation and information

Useful links

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