The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has designated the Morro Bay area off California as an offshore wind zone.
The area is located approximately 20 miles off central California and contains approximately 240,898 acres (376 square miles) of seabed.
BOEM will now prepare an Environmental Assessment, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, to consider potential impacts from site characterisation and site assessment activities.
BOEM’s preparation of the EA will initiate a public comment period along with two virtual public meetings.
“Offshore wind presents a significant opportunity for California and our nation as we transition to clean, renewable energy. Today’s announcement represents significant progress towards that future,” said BOEM director Amanda Lefton (pictured).
“As the process continues, BOEM is committed to environmental reviews, which are critical for a strong resource management program, and to robust public engagement.”
The 60-day public comment period began on 12 November 12 and will extend through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 11 January, 2022.
Once BOEM considers all public input, the agency will publish a draft EA for public review and comment.
The analyses contained in the EA will help BOEM determine whether to move forward with an area(s) for a proposed lease sale.