The 7 offshore wind farms planned by the US are located at the East Coast in Atlantic Ocean, and now new offshore wind farms will also be seen in the West Coast. The US Federal Government and the Government of California have targeted at two waters, and will be implementing floating offshore wind power vigorously to allow relevant set up at the coast of California that has a deeper depth.
Biden announced at the end of last month to have reached an agreement with the Government of California regarding the development of the first commercial wind power project along the coast of California that will provide power for 1.6 million households in the future. The Pentagon has been opposing the development of offshore wind power in the state due to long-term drills at the coast of California over the years, and now the first commercial offshore wind power project has been given the green light by the White House.
Both Morro Bay and Humboldt County are the preferred locations. The White House commented that these two areas possess a potential capacity of 4.6GW, which will eventually provide enough power for 1.6 million households. The Morro Bay has a sea area of 399 mi², which explains its name of Morro Bay 399, with a location at the center of the coastline of California, and a potential capacity of 3GW. The Humboldt County at the west of California is also planned for a wind energy zone.
California Governor Gavin Newsom commented that this is a game-changing investment on green energy, and the state is also actively engaged by investing tens of millions of dollars prior to the approval of the federal government in the preparation of environmental evaluation, engineering, and design, as well as the relevant upgrades on cables and wires, in order to transmit power from the offshore wind farms to each individual household.
However, installing offshore wind power off the coast of California is no easy task, since the waters of the Pacific Ocean are much deeper than that of the Atlantic Ocean, and the construction location may also be in closer proximity to the coast, whereas Morro Bay and Humboldt County are both renowned tourist spots. The White House commented that a pristine floating technology will be required, and will rely on the continuous investment and research from the US Department of Energy in the future.
Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, also commented that the US Department of Defense is in close coordination with the Government of California and the US Department of the Interior on ensuring that the testing, training, and US military operations conducted at the Pacific Ocean will not be impacted.
The US has stipulated a long-term target at an installed capacity of 30GW in offshore wind power by 2030, which will satisfy the power consumption of 10 million households, and reduce 78 million tons of carbon dioxide emission each year, as well as create 77K job opportunities. The 800MW Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts was officially approved last month, and is expected to complete within 2 years.
(Cover photo source: Unsplash)