California's floating demos make progress

Floating offshore wind is advancing in California. While the forthcoming lease sales in federal waters have made headlines this year, less attention has been paid to projects in state waters (within 3 nautical miles of the shore).

The California State Lands Commission (SLC) has released the final Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA)
for two proposed offshore wind farms near the Vandenberg Space Force Base (formerly the Vandenberg Air Base). This follows publication, in June, of the draft PEA, which was open to 60 days of public comment.

The PEA is an early information document, designed to assist with the upcoming formal consenting process under the California Environmental Quality Act. It contains background information on offshore wind development in California, and covers the two projects’ site selection factors.

The two proposed projects cover similar ground and potentially overlap.

CADEMO Corporation has proposed a project within an approximately 6.2 square-mile lease area, which could be reduced. It anticipates four floating turbines, each producing 12-15 MW, making the proposed wind farm up to 60 MW in size.

IDEOL has also proposed to engineer, construct, install, operate, and ultimately decommission a floating wind demonstrator. IDEOL proposes up to four Damping pool barge concrete foundations, moored to the seabed. The four turbines in IDEOL’s proposed project would each be capable of producing up to 10 MW, giving its project a maximum capacity of 40 MW. IDEOL’s requested lease area would measure 5.2 square miles.

The PEA – and the projects – will be discussed at the SLC’s meeting on 21st October 2021. After this, a staff report will be made available online. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting virtually, if they have comments.

If everything goes to plan, one or both of the projects could receive consents in 2022, and become the Golden State's first offshore wind installations.

This story was first reported exclusively for 4C Offshore subscribers. For more information, click here. For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.