BOEM surveying competitive interest in offshore California wind energy

The unsolicited lease request from Trident Winds LLC to develop floating wind energy project offshore Morro Bay, California is making progress at the Interior Department Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

BOEM said March 21 that it has completed an initial review of an unsolicited lease request from Trident Winds, and would soon issue a Federal Register notice to determine if there is competitive interest in the area.

As part of its review, BOEM confirmed that Trident Winds is legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold an offshore wind energy lease in federal waters. BOEM’s receipt of an unsolicited lease request is the first step in a leasing process that will include environmental analysis and extensive stakeholder engagement.

The Trident Winds request, received on January 14, 2016, is the first formal interest in obtaining a lease for wind development in federal waters off California.

The proposed a project would generate up to 800 MW of power using about 100 floating foundations, each supporting a turbine that could produce up to 8 MW.

A single seafloor transmission cable would bring the electricity to shore. The proposal may be expanded to generate 1,000 MW at a later date, if additional transmission capacity and market off-take can be obtained. The project would be located about 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay in water depths of 2,600‐3,300 feet. The proposed lease area is 67,963 acres.

California is pursuing a target that would have the state meet 50% of its energy needs through renewable power by 2030.

To date, BOEM has awarded eleven commercial wind energy leases in federal waters off the Atlantic coast.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.