Home>Articles>Biden Admin, Gov. Newsom Announce 4.6 Gigawatt Offshore Wind Power Project off CA Coast

Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Biden Admin, Gov. Newsom Announce 4.6 Gigawatt Offshore Wind Power Project off CA Coast

Taking natural gas and nuclear offline before alt energy built could leave California in a power crunch

By Evan Symon, May 25, 2021 2:42 pm

The Biden Administration and Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a statement on Tuesday that areas off the coasts of Northern and Central California would now be open to wind power production, with the overall goal to erect enough turbines by 2030 for 4.6 gigawatts of electricity.

Morro Bay 399 Area (Photo: BOEM)

According to the joint Department of Interior-Department of Defense-Governor Newsom declaration, a 399 square mile swath of ocean off the coast of Morro Bay, known as “the Morro Bay 399 Area”, was the most reviewed potential wind energy area identified so far. Along with an area outside of Humboldt County known as “the Humboldt Call Area,” these areas, initially scouted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in 2018 have been found to be compatible with a wide range of issues and concerns, such as not interfering with military training and testing operations, being compatible with new floating offshore technology due to the deeper waters of the Pacific Ocean, and having enough wind to generate substantial power.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Photo: Department of Interior)

The wind power plan is part of the Biden Administrations goal to reduce greenhouse gas levels from 2005 in half by 2030. Specifically, it will also focus on Biden’s green energy expansion to generate clean electricity and create high-paying jobs in the green energy sector. While the Department of Interior (DOI) has focused earlier this year on bringing more solar power to California through many new projects, Monday’s announcement of offshore wind power production aims to bump up production with up to 4.6 gigawatts, about enough to power 1.6 million homes, in California with at least 30 gigawatts nationwide by 2030.

“I believe that a clean energy future is within our grasp in the United States, but it will take all of us and the best-available science to make it happen. Today’s announcement reflects months of active engagement and dedication between partners who are committed to advancing a clean energy future,” stated DOI Secretary Deb Haaland in the press release. The offshore wind industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation, while combating the negative effects of climate change. Interior is proud to be part of an all-of-government approach toward the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious renewable energy goals.”

A 4.6 gigawatt project

The increased wind power production would also help California meet their 2045 goal of having complete carbon-free energy, with Governor Newsom also claiming that it would help California’s economy and lead to more jobs in the coming years.

“Developing offshore wind to produce clean, renewable energy could be a game changer to achieving California’s clean energy goals and addressing climate change – all while bolstering the economy and creating new jobs,” said Governor Newsom on Tuesday. “This historic announcement, which could provide clean power for up to 1.6 million homes over the next decade, represents the innovative approach we need for a clean energy economy that protects the coasts, fisheries, marine life, and Tribal and cultural resources we value so much as Californians.”

While opposition to the plants is expected to grow in the near future against the proposed wind plant areas, many energy experts have noted that a more pressing concern is making itself apparent in the state.

“It’s great that we are planning more energy plants, it truly is, but right now we have to worry about having enough power to make it nine years from now,” noted Alec Rees, an energy industry consultant, to the Globe. “The biggest source of power in California is natural gas, although wind and solar are expected to overtake it in the next few years. But with the upcoming fracking ban, and natural gas plans on the decline in the state, as well as Diablo Canyon set to close by 2025, which will end all nuclear power in the state, California will be in a power crunch. Wind and solar are going up, but they aren’t building any more hydro plants or going into any other areas.”

“So these big projects, like the wind power project announced today, long run we’ll get power. But in the short run, with other plants closing, we might not be alright for awhile, especially if current gas plants don’t get extensions. We want to be green, but the pace on wanting to do it and the pace of actually doing it are not lining up.”

More new larger-scale wind and solar plant announcements are expected throughout the year as the Biden administration and California continue to advance green power projects. No cost of the wind power project was given by either agency or the Governor on Tuesday.

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13 thoughts on “Biden Admin, Gov. Newsom Announce 4.6 Gigawatt Offshore Wind Power Project off CA Coast

  1. I cannot imagine a more expensive and unreliable way to produce electricity. Producing power that is unaffordable is a waste of time and money. What will the cost be? $100 a kW hour? How long until it is scrapped?

    1. How long, CW? Just take a drive down toward Palm Springs – an environmental disaster of rusting hulks of previously shiny new wind turbines. They don’t last 10-12 years in the desert. With salt water and air to contend with, much less, imo. GarlicDude has it right. We are funding China’s military buildup by subsidizing these solar and wind projects; not to mention EVs. Engineers and scientists need to be making these decisions – not politicians.

  2. So this “Offshore Wind Project” is going to create tens of thousands of union jobs? How about those tens of thousands of union jobs that were lost when FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DEMENTIA JOE BIDEN (not my President) signed an executive order halting the Keystone Pipeline? Climate change is the biggest BS the world has ever seen. The plan is to put wind turbines in salt water and salt water is corrosive. It will be just a matter of time when those tall wind turbines come falling down due to nature. Democrats never solve problems they just create more of them. Take the Green New Deal and shove it where the sun does not shine.

  3. Something tells me a lot of this will be made overseas, China comes to mind. Large parts of the replacement for the San Francisco-Oakland were made in China and the quality is sub-par to say the least, with repairs made at our cost. All of this in salt water, what is the life span and the cost to operate and maintain such a large scale operation that appears to be miles off shore? I see huge cost over runs and high maintenance issues!

  4. I think it should be renamed the Shorebird Killer.
    Thousands of birds such as raptors are killed by the wind turbines. Never mind that.
    Now how is that being kind to the environment?
    Agree with above comments.

  5. Desalination plants face irrational objections due to plankton death, yet Newsome will allow the offshore wind farm to slaughter seabirds in countless numbers, sounds like another train to nowhere project is in all our futures. Thank you Mr. Governor, Mr. Mayor ….. or should I say no thank you.

  6. I wish Newsom knew some more about the failure of offshore wind to deliver on its power promise before he proposed spending new sums of our taxpayer funds tilting at windmills in his final days.

  7. I thought Californians didn’t like man-made structures spotting up their view of the ocean! So they will like windmills but hated oil rigs? This will hardly replace the power lost in the shutdown of Diablo Canyon Nuke plant. And not even half of the natural gas produced electricity that’s been taken offline over the last few years.

    Realize that wind turbines are the highest cost electric production that exists. The Average turbine must last for 20 years before it balances out the carbon footprint of its manufacture and standard maintenance. Turbines are being subsidized by federal funding to make the cost of their electricity appear to be competitive. And the real kicker is that to take full advantage of the federal funding the average turbine is rebuilt at 10 to 12 years. This creates a NEW additional carbon debt that is not balanced out by the time the turbine times out at 20 years. (at which point building a new turbine from scratch is less expensive that do the absolute major overhaul required at 20 years.

    The facts are, in the current operation of Wind Turbines their lifetime carbon footprint, from manufacture to overhauls to decommissioning, exceeds the carbon footprint of a natural-gas-fired power plant. And, oh, btw, at 20 years the gas fired plant with normal maintenance will continue to produce electricity for another 20 years.

  8. Where does the giant extension cord from the magic windmills go through federal protected otter and shore bird nesting areas ? Then tie into a major power grid that can absorb that much magic clean energy ? Maybe it will power the magic bullet train and your crappy electric cars with magic sea wind crystals.

    1. So this project will power 1.6 million houses in 10 years. California projects there will be that many new houses built there in the same time period. So what is going to power the other 12 million houses in that state.

  9. So this project will power 1.6 million houses in 10 years. California projects there will be that many new houses built there in the same time period. So what is going to power the other 12 million houses in that state.

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