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The United States announced that it will hold its first-ever wind power lease sales off the coast of California.
The initial areas for offshore wind in the Pacific could bring as much as 4.5 GW of clean energy to the grid—which would be enough to power 1.6 million homes, according to a Thursday press release by the Department of the Interior.
The lease sales will take place over five proposed leased areas—two off the coast of northern California in the Humboldt Wind Energy Area, and three in central California in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area. The lease sale notice will last for 60 days beginning May 31, during which time it will seek public comment.
After the 60 days have expired, the Department of the Interior will decide whether to move forward and issue a final sale notice that would include an auction date.
The proposed areas for this lease sale total 373,268 acres, and would require floating turbines due to the water depth.
The United States has held previous wind power lease sales, but so far, has stuck to the Atlantic side.
The latest lease sale for wind power is part of the U.S. Administration’s climate goal to install 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. California has set a 3 GW capacity goal by 2030 for offshore wind, or enough to power 3 million homes. California has a goal to expand this to between 7 and 12 GW by 2045, when it hopes its power grid will be rid of fossil fuels.
“Today’s action represents tangible progress towards achieving the Administration’s vision for a clean energy future offshore California, while creating a domestic supply chain and good-paying union jobs,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Amanda Lefton.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.