Policy & Regulation

13 Feb 2021

California State Bill Eyes 10GW Offshore by 2040

13 Feb 2021  by Renews.BIZ   

California assembly member David Chiu has proposed a bill that would set a goal for the US state of producing 10GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2040.

[Image: Dominion Energy]

The bill, known as AB 525, would direct state agencies to begin planning for and addressing barriers to the development of a new large-scale offshore wind industry in California.

The bill, co-sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and Environment California, also sets an interim offshore wind target of 3GW by 2030.

It would require state agencies to develop an implementation plan for offshore wind that will identify sufficient areas to meet the 10GW target.

The agencies would also be tasked with establishing a coordinated state-federal permitting process, plan for port improvements and transmission upgrades, and support the development of the skilled and trained workforce needed to build these new facilities.

The bill also requires the state to plan for and address offshore wind’s potential environmental impacts – in accordance with the state’s long-term renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals.

Chiu said: “California has set ambitious goals for building a cleaner, greener economy, and we will need an equally clean, green electric grid to provide power to every community 24 hours a day – all year long.

“Offshore wind is a tested, proven technology that can provide huge amounts of renewable energy, with minimal environmental impacts, complementing California’s enormous solar fleet by providing power in the evening hours and through the night.

“There is work to be done to get these resources online, and this bill gives the state achievable energy production targets that will allow us to start the planning, permitting, and workforce preparation we need to meet them.”

State Building and Construction Trades Council of California president Robbie Hunter said: “The building trades in California have built the vast majority of the utility scale solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and pumped storage making California a global leader in renewable energy.

“Offshore wind is the next frontier and our highly skilled workforce is positioned to bring a new, limitless and reliable green energy source onto California’s grid. If you will, it’s a wind-win.”

Environment California said the 10GW goal reflects the findings of last year’s SB 100 Joint Agency Report, produced by the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and California Air Resources Board.

The report concluded that at least 10GW of offshore wind is needed to cost-effectively achieve the state goal of producing 140GW of renewable energy and storage by 2045.

Environment California state director Laura Deehan said: “Offshore wind could supply more clean energy than the entire state’s current electricity needs,.

“The last year showed us what climate change is doing to our state – and how severely it will test our electric grid.

“Here in California, we must do everything we can to fight back – and serve as a model for the rest of the world – that means tapping all of the resources at our disposal.

“Offshore wind will be a key piece of the solution, and this bill will ensure the state makes it a reality.”

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