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The California coast may have the first piece of offshore wind infrastructure on the west coast after the Biden government announced this week.
The Government announced that the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Bureau of Marine Energy Management (BOEM), and the Department of Defense (DOD) have agreed to lease 399 square miles off the north coast of California for wind energy area (WEA) development.
The state may need more energy resources in a few years, as Governor Gavin Newsom has called for a ban on new hydraulic fracturing permits by January 2024. The state’s offshore waters are said to be prospectively up to 4.6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind.
DOI, working with DOD and the state, has identified the 399 Morro Bay area as a location that has 3 GW offshore Wind could support 399 square miles northwest of the bay. DOI is also investigating the Humboldt Call Area in Northern California as a possible wind farm location.
Following environmental analyzes and government-to-government tribal consultations, the areas can be combined in a planned sales announcement for a leasing sales auction planned for mid-2022.
[ Climate Check: Check out NGI’s Hub & Flow podcast on President Biden’s climate protection commitments and how that could affect the U.S. natural gas industry -GW target of the government, but according to DOI Secretary Deb Haaland also “have the potential to create tens of thousands of well-paid union jobs”.
At the end of March, the Minister of Energy (DOE), Jennifer M. Granholm, announced national goal of bringing 30 GW offshore wind online by 2030. The ambitious project has the potential to create around 77,000 jobs and electricity for more than 10 million households. according to DOE.
The announcement also spurred DOE’s National Offshore Wind Research and Development (R&D) consortium, 15 projects totaling $ 8 million for offshore wind support structure innovation, U.S. supply chain development, Grant innovations to electrical systems and solutions for wildlife impacts and radar.
While east coast turbines can be mounted on the ocean floor, deep Pacific waters require floating turbines, a relatively new technology. Esteyco’s Madrid-based spar concrete substructure for floating offshore wind structures was one of 15 projects awarded by the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium.
The wind energy target was included in President Biden’s Executive Ordinance in January, in which a government-wide approach to cope with the climate crisis.
Earlier this month, the government approved the country’s first large offshore wind farm, which will consist of up to 84 turbines located 12 nautical miles from the coasts of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, MA The Vineyard Wind Project is the first of several massive offshore wind proposals to build more than 3,000 wind turbines from Maine to North Carolina. A further 13 wind farm projects are currently being examined by the federal government and are to be processed by the administration as part of the administration’s offshore wind targets by 2025.
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to revise a final rule issued by the Trump administration last year to streamline certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. This is a move the Biden government describes as an attempt to strengthen the “state and tribal authority” in review decisions. By giving states the power to make decisions about water quality that …
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