CPP Investments' JV With Ocean Winds Wins 2 GW California Wind Energy Lease
Federal officials yesterday auctioned off leases for 583 square miles of ocean waters off California that could lead to the nation's first massive floating wind farms.
The auction — the first on the West Coast — includes five sites in deep ocean waters about 20 miles off Morro Bay and Humboldt County. The leases are the first step in a years-long regulatory process that could culminate in the first commercial-scale floating wind turbines off California's coast.
Offshore wind projects are considered critical to meeting California's goals to provide a new source of carbon-free electricity, end reliance on fossil fuels and battle climate change.
"Today's auction is great news for California's offshore wind industry, workers and electricity ratepayers," Adam Stern, executive director of Offshore Wind California, a trade group for industry developers and technology companies, said Tuesday. "It's the most consequential milestone yet for the Golden State's efforts to make offshore wind a key part of its diverse clean energy future."
The results of the auction will offer the first key signs for gauging how strong the market is for producing offshore wind off California. Forty-three companies, including industry leaders like the Danish company Ørsted, were eligible to bid on the leases offered by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees offshore energy and mineral projects.
The waters to be auctioned off have the potential to host several hundred turbines that produce more than 4.5 gigawatts to power about 1.5 million homes.
Experts say construction is at least five to six years away, and an array of unknowns must first be addressed by the companies: the high costs of construction, the logistics of producing the energy and bringing it to shore and the environmental risks to marine life and commercial fisheries.
"There's a lot of opportunities, but there's also some challenges," said Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, who is helping develop the first offshore floating wind turbines in the U.S.
"California has deeper waters than any other areas with these floating turbines so far in the world," he said. "How do you protect the environment, protect local stakeholders, protect the fisheries, protect indigenous communities, while also speeding up permitting so we make a difference with global climate change?"
Unlike current offshore wind turbines fixed to the ocean floor off the East Coast, California's first-of-its-kind turbines would float on platforms anchored by cables in waters reaching about half a mile deep.
The turbines — hundreds of feet tall with blades that are bigger than a football field — would largely be out of sight from the shore, about 20 miles away. The Morro Bay lease area covers 376 square miles, while Humboldt's is 207 square miles.
The state's ambitious offshore wind targets build off President Joe Biden's 2021 pledge to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind nationally by 2030. Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to add between 2 to 5 gigawatts of offshore wind off California's coasts by 2030.
The state's ultimate goal is to produce at least 25 gigawatts from offshore wind sources by 2045 — the boldest commitment any state has made. That could supply electricity for 25 million homes.
"Offshore wind is a critical component to achieving our world-leading clean energy goals and this sale is an historic step on California's march toward a future free of fossil fuels," Newsom said in a statement. "Together with leadership from the Biden-Harris Administration, we're entering a new era of climate action and solutions that give our planet a new lease on life."
How Do Offshore Wind Farms Work?
Offshore wind turbines work similarly to land-based ones. Wind makes the turbine's blades spin around a rotor, which then turns a generator to produce electricity. The turbines send energy through cables under the seabed to an onshore substation, where the energy is converted to a higher voltage before being fed into the grid that provides electricity.
California's offshore wind farms would be the first in the country constructed with floating platforms at a large scale. Europe has long been a leader in developing offshore wind technologies, including a few existing floating offshore wind farms.
The U.S. hopes to soon become another world leader in developing the technology, said Dagher of the University of Maine.
"The U.S. still has an opportunity to lead in floating technologies," he said. "But we need to move forward on the technology side and keep investing in research and development."
The first offshore wind turbines in the U.S. are rooted to the sea floor in relatively shallow waters on fixed structures, which are unsuitable for deep waters. California's floating turbines, however, will be located about 20 miles offshore and will need to be anchored by cables that reach to the ocean floor at depths of several thousand feet.
To date, the federal government has held ten competitive lease sales and issued 27 commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning from Massachusetts to North Carolina, according to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The two offshore wind farms operating in U.S. waters are capable of generating a combined 42 megawatts of electricity. The country's first offshore wind project, off the coast of Rhode Island, launched in 2016 with five turbines, followed by a project in Virginia with two turbines. More projects are on the way, including off the coasts of Massachussetts, New York and New Jersey.
Bigger and Deeper Carries More Risks and Higher Costs
The auction is just one of many steps in the permitting and construction of commercial offshore wind development off California. Once the sites are leased, developers must submit plans detailing the cost and scale of the wind farms before going through an extensive environmental review. That process could take five to six years before construction, which could take a couple more years, begins, said Stern of Offshore Wind California.
The companies would have to seek approval or permits from several state and federal agencies, including the California Coastal Commission.
The scale and size of the technology means California would need to rapidly build specialized port facilities and servicing vessels to construct and transport the gigantic turbines. To speed up deployment, he said it's critical that the state start now investing in transmission and port infrastructure and developing a clear roadmap on permitting and procurement.
At a climate summit hosted by the California Energy Commission on Monday, state leaders, public officials and companies gathered to discuss offshore wind deployment in California ahead of the lease sale.
San Francisco City Attorney and former Assemblymember David Chiu said the burgeoning industry could help grow the state economy by adding thousands of good-paying union jobs in multiple sectors and helping fossil fuel workers transition into renewables.
Chiu authored AB 525, passed in 2021, requiring the state Energy Commission to establish offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045 and develop a five-part strategic plan by 2023. He said strong workforce training programs and community benefit agreements, especially with Native American tribes, will be crucial to implementing the law. The potential impacts on commercial fisheries also must be considered.
"We know that we have to do something different. Offshore wind is different," he said. "But that being said, we're also acutely aware that there are impacts on communities."
The federal government will offer bidding credits for developers who enter into community benefit agreements and invest in workforce training or supply chain improvements in communities. Companies that develop offshore wind projects in California also will be required to enter into labor agreements and work with Native American tribes before beginning construction.
Wind power tends to be stronger in the ocean than on land, making offshore wind a particularly valuable renewable energy source that could help the grid during times when other renewables like traditional wind and solar can't produce energy.
Saur News Burea also reports Ocean Winds, CPP JV Golden State Wind wins 2 GW California wind energy lease:
Winds off the coast are strongest in the late afternoon and evening, which is exactly when — particularly in the summer — electricity demand surges as people go home and turn on appliances like air conditioners.
But several challenges exist with deploying the technology in deep ocean waters, including risks to marine life and concerns over natural disasters, such as earthquakes, said Dagher of the University of Maine.
The turbines off Eureka would be in waters 2,490 feet deep and for Morro Bay, 3,320 feet, he said. No project in the world exists in waters this deep. The deepest project to date is in Norway, in waters 721 feet deep, Dagher said.
"That adds costs and risk because no one's building anything this big or this deep yet," he said.
Studying Risks to Dolphins, Whales, Fish and Birds
While offshore wind is a climate-friendly resource, many environmental groups and researchers say floating wind turbines could pose environmental risks. Sea turtles, fish and marine mammals could become entangled in the cables, while birds and bats could get caught in the turbines, said Irene Gutierrez, an environmental attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"We want to make sure it's done right," she said. "There's a lot that we don't know about offshore wind in the West and what that means for various marine and coastal ecosystems."
To reduce harm to these animals, Gutierrez said federal and state agencies, developers and researchers must work together to conduct more research and commit to regularly monitoring the effects on natural habitats once the projects launch.
Brandon Southall, a scientist with the environmental group California Ocean Alliance and a research associate at UC Santa Cruz who studies the effects of noise on marine mammals, is performing a risk assessment on the lease areas for the federal government to assess how to avoid disruptions to endangered animals and noise-sensitive marine life.
"There's a lot of uncertainty," he said. "But there are a lot of tools that we have that are rapidly evolving, like listening and directional vector sensors to locate where animals are coming from, and we have some baseline data from other projects."
- Golden State Wind is a Joint Venture of Ocean Winds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments).
- When fully built out and operational, the lease area could accommodate approximately 2 GW of offshore wind energy, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 900,000 homes.
Ocean Winds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) have said that their newly formed offshore wind joint venture – Golden State Wind – was awarded an 80,418-acre lease area by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Morro Bay area off the central coast of California.
The lease area awarded, OCS-P 0564, is one of five sites off the coast of California that was the subject of an auction held by BOEM. Ocean Wind said that this auction is particularly notable as it is the first floating offshore wind lease sale in the country, and the first offshore wind lease sale of any kind, on the West Coast of the USA.
Golden State Wind’s winning bid for lease area OCS-P 0564 was $150.3 million, with Ocean Wind and CPP Investments each maintaining a 50% investment in the project. When fully built out and operational, the lease area could accommodate approximately 2 GW of offshore wind energy, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 900,000 homes.
Ocean Wind said that the project will bring the U.S. and California closer to meeting their clean energy goals of 15 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2035 in the U.S. and 5 GW by 2030 in California.
As part of Golden State Wind’s winning bid, Ocean Wind and CPP Investments commit to investing $30 million in workforce development and supply chain initiatives and to work closely with key local stakeholders to maximize the benefits to California from the emerging offshore wind industry.
Michael Brown, CEO, Ocean Winds, North America, noted, “We are pleased to partner with CPP Investments on this project and believe this will be the start of a strong relationship that may extend to future projects in other geographies.”
Bruce Hogg, MD, CPP Investments, stated that this opportunity to help accelerate the transition to lower-carbon sources of energy for Californians and, more broadly, to serve as an example for other jurisdictions. He said, “This investment aligns well with our efforts to reduce carbon emissions across our portfolio while continuing to deliver strong, long-term risk-adjusted returns for the Fund’s contributors and beneficiaries.”
Ocean Wind delves into floating offshore wind for the past 10 years, most notably through the development and operation of Wind float Atlantic, the world’s first fully commercially operational floating offshore wind farm. Ocean Wind has a substantial portfolio of floating projects in Europe and South Korea and is ideally positioned to bring this technology to the Golden State.
Ocean Wind has nearly 3.7 GW of floating wind projects in development or operations in Portugal, France, South Korea, and the UK – and its ready to bring its expertise to the USA.
CPP Investments’ Sustainable Energies group is active across the global energy system, with net assets totaling approximately C$30 billion as of September 30, 2022, including investments in renewables, utilities, and power generation.
Adrijana Buljan of offshoreWIND.biz also reports that RWE, Equinor, CIP, Ocean Winds, and Invenergy are the California lease sale winners and floating wind farm capacities are higher than initially estimated:
The winners of the first US offshore wind lease sale on the Pacific coast and the first-ever to procure floating wind capacity in the country are: RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, Equinor Wind US, Invenergy California Offshore, California North Floating (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners), and Central California Offshore Wind (Ocean Winds).
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has brought in USD 757.1 million to the Treasury from the winning bids for the five lease areas and said that this well exceeded the first lease sales that were held in the Atlantic.
The lease sale included a 20 per cent credit for bidders who committed to a monetary contribution to programmes or initiatives that support workforce training programmes for the floating offshore wind industry, the development of a US domestic supply chain for the floating offshore wind energy industry, or both.
This credit will result in over USD 117 million in investments for these programmes or initiatives, BOEM says.
As offshoreWIND.biz wrote today, based on the US Department of the Interior’s note before the New York Bight lease sale and its subsequent results, the California offshore wind auction will also yield much bigger installation capacities than initially estimated due to advancements in offshore wind technology.
Equinor, RWE, Ocean Winds, and CIP have announced immediately after being revealed as provisional winners that their lease areas have the potential to host around 2 GW (Equinor), 2 GW (Ocean Winds), 1.6 GW (RWE), and over 1 GW (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners) of installed capacity.
Shortly after this, Invenergy also said via social media that its lease area has an installation capacity of 1.5+ GW.This is well beyond the originally estimated lease area capacities and almost double the expected total capacity of 4.5 GW, which now climbed to at least 8.1 GW.
The lease area won by RWE (OCS-P 0561) is the smallest of the five offered offshore California and it is one of the two areas auctioned off in the Humboldt Bay lease area. CIP, through its project company California North Floating, has won the lease for the other site in that area (OCS-P 0562).
In the Morro Bay lease area, the two biggest lease areas (both covering 80,418 acres) are secured by Ocean Winds (OCS-P 0564) and the US renewable energy developer Invenergy (OCS-P 0565). Equinor has secured the rights for the third Morro Bay lease area, which covers a little over 80,000 acres (OCS-P 0563).
EDP Renewables (EDPR) put out a press release stating Ocean Winds awarded with 2 GW in California wind energy lease:
- EDP Renewables and Engie’s joint venture partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to develop a floating offshore project in California;
- This 2 GW are a significant milestone for the presence of Ocean Winds in the United States, where the company has about 4 GW under development through two projects in the Northeast.
Ocean Winds (OW) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), through their 50/50 offshore wind joint venture Golden State Wind, were awarded a 32,500 hectares lease area by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Morro Bay area off the central coast of California.
The lease area awarded is one of five sites off the coast of California that was the subject of an auction held by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). This auction is particularly notable as it is the first floating offshore wind lease sale in the country, and the first offshore wind lease sale of any kind, on the West Coast.
OW is already developing around 4GW of offshore project in the Northeast of the U.S., Mayflower Wind off the New England coast, and Bluepoint Wind off the New York and New Jersey coasts. The latest is the project being developed out of the seabed lease area awarded during the New York Bight auction earlier this year.
Bautista Rodriguez, CEO of Ocean Winds said: “As a pioneer in floating offshore wind and firm believer in its capabilities to produce large capacity of clean energy and create local opportunities around the world, Ocean Winds is very proud to have been awarded a new project during this first floating offshore wind auction in the U.S. We are committed to bringing the country and California closer to meeting their clean energy goals, while building a new domestic industry, creating jobs, and boosting the local economy.”
Ocean Winds has more than 10 years of experience in floating offshore wind, most notably through the development and operation of Windfloat Atlantic, the world’s first fully commercially operational floating offshore wind farm. OW has a substantial portfolio of floating projects in Europe and South Korea and is ideally positioned to bring this technology to the Golden State.
When fully built out and operational, Golden State Wind’s lease area can accommodate approximately 2 GW of offshore wind energy, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 90000 homes. This will bring the U.S. and California closer to meeting their clean energy goals of 15 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2035 in the U.S. and 5 GW by 2030 in California - building a new domestic industry, creating jobs for Californians, and boosting the local economy.
As part of OW and CPP Investments’ winning bid, Golden State Wind committed to invest in workforce development and supply chain initiatives and to work closely with key local stakeholders to maximize the benefits to California from the emerging offshore wind industry.
CPP Investments put out a press release stating Golden State Wind, a joint venture of Ocean Winds and CPP Investments, wins 2 GW California wind energy lease:
Boston, MA, and Toronto, ON – December 7, 2022 – Ocean Winds (OW) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) are pleased to announce that their newly formed offshore wind joint venture Golden State Wind was awarded an 80,418-acre lease area by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Morro Bay area off the central coast of California.
The lease area awarded, OCS-P 0564, is one of five sites off the coast of California that was the subject of an auction held by BOEM. This auction is particularly notable as it is the first floating offshore wind lease sale in the country, and the first offshore wind lease sale of any kind, on the West Coast.
OW has more than 10 years of experience in floating offshore wind, most notably through the development and operation of Windfloat Atlantic, the world’s first fully commercially operational floating offshore wind farm. OW has a substantial portfolio of floating projects in Europe and South Korea and is ideally positioned to bring this technology to the Golden State.
Golden State Wind’s winning bid for lease area OCS-P 0564 was $150.3 million, with OW and CPP Investments each maintaining a 50% investment in the project. When fully built out and operational, the lease area could accommodate approximately 2 GW of offshore wind energy, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 900,000 homes. This will bring the U.S. and California closer to meeting their clean energy goals of 15 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2035 in the U.S. and 5 GW by 2030 in California – building a new domestic industry, creating jobs for Californians, and boosting the local economy.
As part of Golden State Wind’s winning bid, OW and CPP Investments commit to investing $30 million in workforce development and supply chain initiatives and to work closely with key local stakeholders to maximize the benefits to California from the emerging offshore wind industry.
Michael Brown, the CEO of Ocean Winds North America, noted: “OW is a pioneer of floating offshore wind technology – with nearly 3.7 GW of floating wind projects in development or operations in Portugal, France, South Korea, and the UK – and we are ready to bring our expertise to the U.S. as well. OW currently has about 4 GW of projects already under active development in the Northeastern U.S. and this is the perfect opportunity to further expand our portfolio and contribute to the Federal Government’s ambitious floating offshore wind targets. We are pleased to partner with CPP Investments on this project and believe this will be the start of a strong relationship that may extend to future projects in other geographies.”
Bruce Hogg, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Energies at CPP Investments, said: “We are proud that our partnership with Ocean Winds has earned this opportunity to help accelerate the transition to lower-carbon sources of energy for Californians and, more broadly, to serve as an example for other jurisdictions. This investment aligns well with our efforts to reduce carbon emissions across our portfolio while continuing to deliver strong, long-term risk-adjusted returns for the Fund’s contributors and beneficiaries.”
CPP Investments’ Sustainable Energies group is active across the global energy system, with net assets totaling approximately C$30 billion as of September 30, 2022, including investments in renewables, utilities, and power generation.
For information on Ocean Winds North America, and its projects, go to https://www.oceanwinds.com/north-america/.
Ocean Winds (OW) is an international company dedicated to offshore wind energy and created as a 50-50 joint venture, owned by EDP Renewables and ENGIE. Based on its belief that offshore wind energy is an essential part of the global energy transition, OW develops, finances, builds and operates offshore wind farm projects all around the world.
When EDP and ENGIE combined their offshore wind assets and project pipeline to create OW in 2019, the company had a total of 1.5 GW under construction and 4.0 GW under development; OW has been adding rapidly to that portfolio and is now on a trajectory to reach the 2025 target of 5 to 7 GW of projects in operation, or construction, and 5 to 10 GW under advanced development. In 2022, OW’s offshore wind gross capacity already operating, contracted or with grid connection rights granted reaches 16.6 GW.
OW, headquartered in Madrid, is currently present in 8 countries, and primarily targets markets in Europe, the United States, selected parts of Asia, and Brazil.
More information: www.oceanwinds.com
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About CPP Investments
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments™) is a professional investment management organization that manages the Fund in the best interest of the 21 million contributors and beneficiaries of the Canada Pension Plan. In order to build diversified portfolios of assets, investments are made around the world in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income. Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, San Francisco, São Paulo and Sydney, CPP Investments is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. At September 30, 2022, the Fund totaled C$529 billion. For more information, please visit www.cppinvestments.com or follow uson LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
I read more about Ocean Winds here:
Ocean Winds is the result of a 2019 joint venture by EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE. Both companies share the vision in which renewables, particularly offshore wind, play a key role in the global energy transition. That is why they created a 50-50 joint venture for offshore wind.
EDPR and ENGIE are combining their offshore wind assets and project pipeline under OW, beginning with 1.5 GW under construction and 4.0 GW under development, with the target of reaching 5-7 GW of projects in operation or construction and 5-10 GW under advanced development by 2025. OW’s primary target markets are in Europe, the United States and selected Asian countries, from where most of the growth is expected to come.
This ambitious joint venture comes in the wake of EDPR’s and ENGIE’s successful five-year cooperation as consortium partners in the Dieppe Le Tréport and Yeu Noirmoutier fixed offshore wind projects in France, and in Moray East and Moray West in the United Kingdom.
Offshore wind energy is becoming an essential part of the global energy transition to EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, which is the reason behind the market’s rapid growth and increased competitiveness.
Offshore wind will be the fastest-growing renewable technology in the next decade, which is the reason that both companies believe creating a larger company with a dedicated team that has the global business development reach along with robust purchasing power, will allow them to grow their assets more rapidly and operate more efficiently. Ocean Winds benefits because of its advantageous starting position and is well-placed to play a leading role in the offshore market.
Madrid-based EDPR is a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer. EDPR was created in 2007 to operate the Energias de Portugal (EDP) group’s renewable power business.
With sound developments in the pipeline, first class assets and a market-leading operating capacity, EDPR has experienced outstanding growth in recent years and is currently present in 28 markets across Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific.
ENGIE is a French multinational energy and services company, with its headquarters in La Défense, Courbevoie. It focuses on the production and supply of energy, services and regeneration. It was established in 2008 by Gaz de France and Suez.
With 160,000 employees, ENGIE currently operates in almost 70 countries on five continents. While the group intends to retain its position as a key player in Europe and a leader in the energy transition process, it is now a benchmark energy provider in emerging markets.
Last week, the Ocean Winds joint venture of French and Portuguese utilities Engie and EDPR signed a capacity reservation deal with the Navantia-Windar consortium to build 62 jacket foundations for its 496MW Dieppe le Tréport offshore wind project in the English Channel.
The agreement will soon be transformed into what is slated to be the largest contract for Windar-Navantia to date, and the jackets are slated to be built at a plant at the Fene shipyard in northern Spain, starting in the first quarter of next year.
There isn't much I can add on this latest deal in California except to say that this joint venture between Ocean Winds and CPP Investments called Golden State Wind is on track to capitalize on the growing need for offshore wind farms for governments all over the world to reduce their carbon emissions and achieve their net-zero targets by 2050.
California is particularly well placed for offshore wind farms.
In April, Mainstream's Vice President of US Offshore Wind, Paula Major, wrote a comment for Energy Focus magazine on why California – the US Golden State that boosts consistent winds, vast coastlines and a commitment to 100% clean energy – is perfectly positioned to become a global leader in floating offshore wind power:
California may be best known in the energy industry for its trailblazing solar market, but the landmark Joint Agency Senate Bill 100 report (SB100), published in March 2021, concluded that California will need at least 10GW of offshore wind if it is to achieve its 100% renewable and zero-carbon goals by 2045 in a cost-effective manner.
While this would be a positive step, 10GW represents just a small fraction of the approximately 140GW of new renewable energy that is needed for California to reach its full decarbonisation goals.
California gets serious about offshore wind
The California Energy Commission is now working to establish clear offshore wind targets for 2030 and 2045, as directed by state legislation (Assembly Bill 525), through engagement with the industry and stakeholders. The focus is on setting out plans to support the development of a thriving and world-leading floating wind industry by 2030 and beyond.
Even before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it would lease the first 4.6GW of available deep-water leases by the autumn of 2022, California had the attention and engagement of the major global offshore wind players.
Offshore Wind California, a coalition established by seven companies in 2019, now boasts 40 member companies, ranging from environmental consultants to large international energy companies.
The West Coast catches up
These organisations are all working together towards the collective goal of realising California’s first offshore wind projects.
The Morro Bay Wind Energy Area off the state’s Central Coast will have a capacity of approximately 3GW, and access to 5–6GW of interconnection capacity, according to a staff report from the California Independent System Operator.
In Northern California, meanwhile, the Humboldt Wind Energy Area will have approximately 1.6GW of leases available, according to BOEM. Ahead of the auction, BOEM will issue a Proposed Sale Notice to gather feedback on several items relating to the proposed auction. The issuing of a Final Sale Notice will follow 45 days before the auction, containing details of the final leases being made available, the final list of qualified bidders, and specific details of the auction rules and bidding process.
The time is now for floating wind
The UK’s recent ScotWind announcement, awarding 15GW of floating wind project leases, offers proof that floating wind is set for commercial-scale development on the global stage. According to the Scottish government, for every 1GW of capacity awarded, these projects will secure at least US$1.36bn in supply chain investment.
The vision for California involves deploying floating offshore wind at scale and with speed. The new state budget proposal issued by California Governor Newsom earlier this year earmarked US$45m for offshore wind infrastructure in the fiscal year 2022–2023. A new Offshore Wind Energy Deployment Facility Improvement Program is planned to advance capabilities for deploying offshore wind in federal waters with improvements in facilities planning and development.
California still has plenty of challenges if it is to establish itself as a global leader in floating wind. Unlike other US states, there are no firm offshore wind power offtake commitments or targets as yet.
Ports will require investment, and transmission systems will need extensions in the north and upgrades elsewhere.
The challenges are considerable, but the opportunities are tremendous for sowing the seeds to grow a long-standing thriving industry.
Rich with opportunities
Local and or regional supply chains will be needed to support this new billion dollar industry along the West Coast – from California to Oregon (3GW by 2030) and Washington.
From design, manufacture and transport of equipment, to installation and a host of activities and associated services, meeting the challenge will require a range of expertise to deliver the various aspects of each offshore wind project.
With the significant water depths (500–1,300m) and hundreds of floating turbines along the Central and North California coasts, vast lengths of mooring lines will be needed – at least 800km to support the 300-plus turbines in California alone. Along with onshore infrastructure, a range of engineering services, environmental monitoring, surveys, protection services, remote operated vehicles, divers, other environmental activities and ports upgrades will be needed.
Hydrogen, storage, and hybrid solutions also offer vast opportunities for partnership, investment, and innovation.
The next frontier in renewables
Government agencies’ ongoing progress in California to bolster the industry by committing to offshore wind targets and supporting a supply chain will help drive California and the entire US West Coast to be the next frontier for floating offshore wind.
Great insights here. As you can read, the challenges are considerable, but the opportunities are tremendous for sowing the seeds to grow a long-standing thriving industry.
This is why I'm excited for CPP Investments and Ocean Winds and believe this joint venture can capitalize on tremendous opportunities in California.
Below, on August 10, 2022, the California Energy Commission adopted a report establishing offshore wind goals and moving the state one step closer to development of the clean energy resource off California’s coast.
Preliminary findings in the report set planning goals of 3,000-5,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045, enough electricity to power 3.75 million initially and 25 million homes by mid-century.