Governor Newsom signs California offshore wind bill

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 24/09/2021 Governor Newsom
California's Governor Gavin Newsom has approved a bill (AB 525) which seeks to accelerate deployment of offshore wind off the California coast.

The bill directs state agencies to evaluate and quantify the range of maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind goals for offshore wind production in 2030 and 2045. This would be completed by 1 June 2022.

The bill also directs the state to create a strategic plan for deploying this new industry, from identifying necessary sea space and developing a local offshore wind workforce to improving port facilities and transmission infrastructure needed to bring this new source of energy online. It would also require the Energy Commission, in coordination with relevant state and local agencies, to develop a plan to improve waterfront facilities that could support a range of floating offshore wind energy development activities.

In its strategic plan, the Energy Commission would be required to develop and produce a permitting roadmap that describes timeframes and milestones for a permitting process for offshore wind energy facilities and associated electricity and transmission infrastructure off the coast of California.  

The Energy Commission would be required to submit the strategic plan to the Natural Resources Agency and the Legislature on or before 30 June 2023.

Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Western Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, a nonprofit offshore wind trade organisation, commented: “Today’s signing of AB 525 by Governor Newsom marks the beginning of a new chapter for the offshore wind industry in California and the Pacific Coast. Led by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-SF), the California Legislature showed its strong support for floating offshore wind off the Pacific Coast as a reliable, renewable energy resource that can be  monumental for our state, providing good jobs, manufacturing, and significant opportunities for the development of a regional supply chain. The Business Network for Offshore Wind has been championing the need for strong committed state leadership and we will be an active partner with the Governor and state leaders as we move offshore wind ahead.”