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Battle for California wind lease areas underway

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 06/12/2022 BOEM
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) offshore wind energy lease sale for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California is underway. It is the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first-ever U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.

BOEM is offering five California OCS lease areas that total approximately 373,268 acres which it claims has the potential to produce over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy. They include Lease OCS-P 0561 (63,338 Acres), Lease OCS-P 0562 (69,031 Acres), Lease OCS-P 0563 (80,062 Acres), Lease OCS-P 0564 (80,418 Acres), and Lease OCS-P 0565 (80,418 Acres). BOEM has established a minimum bid of $100.00 per acre for this lease sale.

BOEM has determined that 43 entities (listed below) are legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold a commercial wind lease offshore California.
The auction also includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning, and create good paying union jobs. The stipulations inlcude BOEM offering bidding credits for bidders who enter into community benefit agreements or invest in workforce training or supply chain development; require winning bidders to make efforts to enter into project labor agreements; and require engagement with Tribes, underserved communities, ocean users, and agencies.

The live auction can be found here:

To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina. At the beginning of the year BOEM announced the results of the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history, including oil and gas lease sales, with the New York Bight offshore wind sale. Six lease areas were auctioned totalling over 488,000 acres in the New York Bight for potential wind energy development. The winning bids from six companies totalled approximately $4.37 billion.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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