BOEM designates wind energy area offshore California

4C Offshore | James Bernthal-Hooker
By: 15/11/2021 BOEM
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the US has designated the Morro Bay wind energy area (WEA) offshore California. Located around 20 km from the central California coastline, the WEA is approximately 376 square miles in size.

The next step is for BOEM to prepare an environmental assessment, something required under the National Environmental Policy Act, which will explore potential impacts from survey activities (site characterization and site assessment activities) within the area.

This assessment triggered a 60-day public comment, period which will include two virtual public meetings. The public comment period commenced on 12th November 2021, and close on 11th January 2022, but BOEM has yet to confirm the virtual public meeting dates.

“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. “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 designation follows extensive collaborations between BOEM and other federal agencies, as well as the state of California and various stakeholders (ocean users, Tribes, local communities, and members of the public). There was an initial call for information and nominiations on a similar area back in October 2018, and two extension areas were subject of a new such call in July 2021.

BOEM plans to lease the Morro Bay area next year (2022), as well as the Humboldt WEA, which was designated earlier this year, off the northern Californian coast.

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