California extends offshore wind consultation period

The Californian Energy Commission (CEC) has extended the deadline for written comments on potential offshore wind development, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) previously launched a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) for three areas off the Californian coast, two of which are offshore the Central Coast (Morro Bay Call Area and Diablo Canyon Call Area), in October 2018.

Suitable areas were identified within and to the North and South of the Morro Bay Call Area. However, the Diablo Canyon Call Area is considered incompatible with current Department of Defence operations. A further "Discussion Area" was identified within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area, but BOEM does not have authority to lease this site.
  • North Area: 149 square miles and 15 miles offshore or 125 square miles and 17 miles offshore
  • South Area: 90 square miles and 15 miles offshore or 67 square miles and 17 miles offshore
  • Discussion Area: 90 square mile area within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Back in March, the State and BOEM initiated a process to receive input from local, state, and federal agencies, tribal governments, stakeholders, and the public on the North and South Areas.  The deadline for comments (submitted online or via email) was then set at 14th May 2020, but has now been extended to 31st July 2020.

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