On Tuesday, the Biden Administration said that it would work with California to construct offshore wind projects in the Pacific Ocean. The first of its kind move is an essential step toward the White House’s objective of deploying 30 gigawatts offshore wind by 2030. A 399-square-mile area off California’s central coast has been designated. Offshore wind is expected to be installed in this area at a capacity of 3 GW.
A second possible location is off California’s northern coast. The administration hopes to add 4.6 GW of clean energy to the grid through these initiatives, enough to power around 1.6 million homes. The announcement comes after years of discussion between the Interior and Defense Ministries while potential areas were scouted.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement, “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.” In addition to the environmental benefits, the Biden Administration emphasized the economic benefits, particularly in terms of job creation.
The announcement comes only weeks after the White House approved the country’s first big offshore wind project. According to forecasts, the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project will power 400,000 households while providing 3,600 jobs off the coast of Massachusetts.
In the past, developing offshore wind in the Pacific Ocean has proven difficult due to various factors, including the fact that the outer continental shelf in the Pacific is substantially deeper closer to shore than in the Atlantic. To combat this, the federal government has committed more than $100 million to promote floating offshore wind farms.