Page 16: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 2019)

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Tom Ewing

Tom Ewing is a freelance writer specializing in energy and environmental topics. He has been a regular contributor to MarineLink publications for the past two years. He has extensive experience working on legislative and public policy issues, both at the state and federal levels.

California Dreamin’

IN CALIFORNIA, OFFSHORE WIND HAS UNLIMITED POTENTIAL hen it comes to states about 1.5 times the state’s electric en- project in the Humboldt Bay area (near merged cabling infrastructure will ex- promoting renewable, ergy consumption based on 2014 EIA Eureka, CA). tend for miles, from offshore platforms non-fossil electricity ? gures” (italics added, EIA = the US En- Last October BOEM issued a Call to landside connections.

Wgeneration, California ergy Information Administration). The with a broader scope, focusing on three This demands a close look at marine surely leads the list, from utility-scale NREL study is based on six likely Pa- Outer Continental Shelf sites (which and maritime impacts. The Paci? c Mer- regional grids to individual rooftop solar ci? c wind energy areas, from Crescent were within the NREL study referenced chant Shipping Association, for exam- panels. City, in the north, near Oregon, to Port above): the Humboldt Call Area off ple, recommends that BOEM, upfront,

In fact, a December 2018 update from Hueneme, just north of LA. the north coast and the Morro Bay and eliminate WEAs that overlap with ship- the California Energy Commission CA’s offshore process started in ear- Diablo Canyon Call Areas, both off the ping lanes. PMSA Vice President John (CEC) estimates the state may already nest three years ago when a wind energy central coast. These areas cover ap- Berge advises that this would “avoid have exceeded an initial renewable company then called Trident Wind – now proximately 1,073 square statute miles wasting unnecessary time and resources generation goal of 33% by 2020. CEC Castle Wind – submitted an unsolicited (687,823 acres). Comments – and nomi- pursuing projects that con? ict with mari- estimates that in 2018 that generation request to BOEM (Bureau of Ocean En- nations – were due January 28, 2019. time traf? c routes.” number was already 34%. You can note ergy Management) to lease a site in the Indeed, there is strong demand for Pa- Floating platforms are not yet in wide- (below) that wind accounted for 29% of Paci? c near Morro Bay (about half-way ci? c wind energy areas (WEAs)! BOEM spread use. However, wind energy com- the almost 100,000 GWh of renewable between LA and San Francisco). received nominations from 14 compa- panies believe these platforms, in vari- electric generation in 2018. Castle’s ? ling started a federal-state nies expressing interest in all three pro- ous con? gurations, are on the cusp of

None of those 27,838 GWh comes from effort to determine best ways to move posed areas. being market ready.

offshore wind – yet. As in other states, forward. Of? cials from the California Concurrent to BOEM’s Calls, the There is one project – called Hywind,

CA’s offshore wind is still to come, still Energy Commission teamed up with BOEM/CA Task Force has been in a de- built by Equinor – in Scotland using on the horizon; or more likely, just over BOEM to form the California Inter- velopmental mode – meeting with stake- platforms; it’s small, just ? ve turbines. the horizon, keeping wind towers out of governmental Renewable Energy Task holders, creating a new California Off- Equinor is one of the companies which sight from CA’s postcard shorelines. Force (Task Force) which ? rst met in shore Wind Energy Gateway to facilitate responded to BOEM’s Call. Equinor

It’s important to note that unlike some October 2016. development and documenting and pre- writes that it will utilize the “compe-

Atlantic coast states, e.g., New York, After Trident’s “nomination” – that’s senting how wind energy could impact tence, lessons learned, and experiences

California has not set a speci? c demand BOEM’s term for when a company sug- coastal, ? shing and tribal communities. gained from these Hywind projects in for offshore wind. In CA, offshore wind gests or proposes a project – BOEM is- This outreach is important. Offshore the development of larger scale ? oating will result from merchant projects, not sued a request for comments (referred wind in California is much more dif? cult projects in California.” utility policies. But, of course, this is to by BOEM as a “Call”) on the mer- than the “average” ocean-based wind Some companies are working together

California, with an almost insatiable its of the Morro Bay site and to check project. The Paci? c Ocean slopes off to build an offshore project. In the Hum- demand for electricity – especially as competitive interests, i.e., to check for more suddenly from the shore compared boldt Call Area, for example, the Red- electric vehicles are mainstreamed. If “nominations” from other wind energy to the Atlantic coast, getting deep very wood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), you have renewable energy to sell, CA’s companies. quickly. a consortium of local governments, has buying. Indeed, Equinor responded with inter- Paci? c projects will require wind tur- been working to develop a wind project

CA’s offshore wind could be an energy est in Morro Bay – an important signal bines built within or on ? oating plat- since 2017. Humboldt Bay has some of gusher. In 2016 DOE’s National Renew- regarding markets and project viability, forms, cabled to the ocean ? oor, possi- the best Paci? c wind resources, although able Energy Laboratory (NREL) pub- not just for CA ratepayers but also for bly in waters 800-1000 meters deep. An that is offset by challenges with land- lished a study: “Potential Offshore Wind US taxpayers since Uncle Sam collects area with dozens or hundreds of ? oating based connections.

Energy Areas in California: An Assess- rent from the leased sites. In September platforms becomes a very different sea- RCEA selected an energy team that ment of Locations, Technology, and 2018, BOEM received another unsolicit- scape, laced with underwater cabling, includes Principle Power Inc. (PPI),

Costs.” One conclusion: CA’s offshore ed nomination from the Redwood Coast both for infrastructure stability and founded in 2007 in Emeryville, CA. PPI wind resource potential “corresponds to Energy Authority (RCEA) for a possible power transmission. Some of that sub- has developed the WindFloat, a ? oating 16 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MAY 2019

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