California Offshore Wind

Abundant electricity created by offshore wind can bring 100% renewable energy to California.

Why Offshore Wind?

Essential

Offshore wind energy is essential to meet California’s goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2045.

Abundant

Offshore wind is an abundant source of clean power that can power millions of California homes and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Reliable

Offshore wind offers reliable and resilient energy to the electric grid all day long across every season of the year.

California Offshore Wind Projects

Humboldt County Wind Projects

California floating offshore wind turbines will be located 20 to 30 miles offshore and will be able to power a home for a whole day with one rotation of a blade.

 

San Luis Obispo County Projects

Driving Long-Term Affordability

As California transitions to greater quantities of renewable energy, residents and business owners can expect to see more stability in electricity prices. Offshore wind currently produces power around the world, and California’s offshore wind is expected to come online in the early-mid 2030s. Offshore wind power off California’s coast will help stabilize California’s power grid and consumer energy prices by decoupling energy costs from volatile fuel prices.

Over the long term, transitioning to a 100% clean grid and electrification will stabilize energy prices and reduce total monthly home energy bills for average Californians while costing significantly less than doing nothing in the face of climate change.

Propelling Workforce Development and Economic Growth

Offshore wind will create thousands of union-represented manufacturing, installation, and maintenance jobs while supporting the development of a highly skilled workforce.

Development of 25 GW of offshore wind in California is estimated to create:

  • Up to 8,000 jobs in offshore wind for roles like installation, operations, manufacturing, and maintenance.
  • Thousands of indirect jobs in planning, construction, and management of port readiness.
  • Additional indirect jobs in service-related fields.

Source: California State Lands Commission “AB 525 Workforce Development Readiness Plan”

Offshore wind will support a diverse range of high-paying jobs throughout each phase of the lifetime of the projects, including but not limited to:

  • Planning and Development: Marine biologists, engineers, geophysicists, and permitting specialists
  • Manufacturing and Assembly: Control systems specialists, port operators, engineers, technicians, administrative staff, and welders
  • Construction and Installation: Dock workers, electricians, iron workers, engineers, painters, line workers, plumbers, and pile drivers
  • Operations and Maintenance: Wind turbine technicians, plant managers, support vessel crews, and administrative staff

    Offshore wind will provide opportunities for small businesses and local economies to capitalize in investment in port infrastructure, supply chains, and the local workforce.

    • Port Infrastructure: Upgrading and expanding port infrastructure is vital to offshore wind. From Eureka to Long Beach, ports are planning billions of dollars in upgrades to manufacture and deploy offshore wind foundations, towers, and turbines while creating a dynamic and growing offshore wind industry in California.
    • Supply Chain Growth: Offshore wind projects will create new business opportunities by requiring an interconnected supply chain of California firms specializing in manufacturing, construction, and maintenance of offshore wind.
    • Local Workforce Development: The first five offshore wind leaseholders are committed to investing over $117 million in workforce development and expansion of the domestic supply chain for materials required by the floating offshore wind energy industry.

    Committed to Community Engagement

    California offshore wind leaseholders are dedicated community partners. 

    Leaseholders are committed to consistent, steady public engagement with Native American Tribes and Tribal Nations, fisheries, labor unions, and other stakeholders and residents of local communities from the earliest phases of planning through decades of construction and operations. Their approach prioritizes economic empowerment, environmental protection, and meaningful community engagement. For example, $50 million has been committed to community benefit agreements, which will be finalized during the planning process and are required to be submitted to BOEM before construction begins after coordinating directly with fisheries, tribes, and other local community stakeholders.

    A Timeline of Offshore Wind in California

    2018

    Call for Information and Nominations

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Call for Information and Nominations for three potential development areas in federal waters off of California, kickstarting an intergovernmental work group with the state.

    2021

    AB 525 Signed into Law

    AB 525 (Chiu) directs the California Energy Commission (CEC) to assess the “maximum feasible capacity” of offshore wind production in California. CEC adopts a target of producing 25,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2045

    2022

    Offshore Wind Lease Auction

    U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) holds a historic auction for five leases offshore California, the first ever in the Pacific Ocean.

    2023

    AB 1373 Signed into Law

    AB 1373 (E. Garcia) adopts a ‘central procurement’ strategy, a major step towards the development and delivery of 100% clean energy from offshore wind, helping California meet its clean energy goals while creating thousands of high-wage jobs.

    2023

    Creation of California Council of Offshore Wind (CCOWL) Leaseholders

    CCOWL represents the offshore wind developers who will help pave the pathway for the development of floating offshore wind and supporting infrastructure, working closely with local communities and state policymakers. Member companies include Invenergy, RWE, Equinor, Golden State Wind, and Vineyard Offshore.

    2024 - 2026

    Surveys and Site Characterization

    Over the course of the next decade, CCOWL members will conduct surveys to assess the physical, biological, and cultural resources within their lease areas and for potential transmission routes to shore. The leaseholders will use the information collected in surveys to inform project design and development of a Construction and Operations Plan, which serves as the basis of environmental and technical reviews by the federal government.

    2026 - 2030s

    Project Plans and Environmental review

    Each leaseholder will prepare a project-specific Construction and Operations (COP) plan which will cover how the project will be built and operated. This document serves as the basis for environmental reviews (CEQA, NEPA) and permitting. During the process there will be several public meetings and opportunities for public comments, allowing each project to hear from stakeholders and incorporate feedback into project planning and execution.

    Late 2020s (Tentative)

    Project Contracting

    Through the state’s central procurement function, offshore wind developers will compete for power offtake contracts with the state. This future source of revenue will stimulate further project financing and development of offshore wind projects, as well as associated infrastructure at the ports.

    2030s

    Construction

    The first California offshore wind projects are estimated to begin construction in the early 2030s and will ultimately create thousands of jobs in the installation, construction, and manufacture of offshore wind.

    Mid 2030s and Beyond

    Operations

    After construction, offshore wind will begin delivering clean, reliable, and consistent energy to California, stabilizing electricity prices and reducing emissions. Projects will remain online for decades with the potential to repower projects at the end of their lifespan.

    About California Council of Offshore Wind Leaseholders

    The California Council of Offshore Wind Leaseholders is a council within the American Clean Power Association (ACP) made up of offshore wind companies with California leases. The member projects include Invenergy’s Even Keel Wind, RWE’s Canopy Offshore Wind Farm, Equinor’s Atlas Wind, Ocean Wind’s Golden State Wind, and Vineyard Offshore’s project in California. Membership will be open to future leaseholders going forward.

    ACP is the leading voice of today’s multi-tech clean energy industry that represents 750 utility-scale solar, wind, energy storage, green hydrogen and transmission companies. ACP is committed to meeting America’s national security, economic and climate goals with fast-growing, low-cost, and reliable domestic power. ACP – CA, the California branch of ACP, represents diverse utility-scale clean energy developers working in the state and is committed to delivering the necessary clean power in California to meet the state’s clean energy goals.

    Read the latest news on ACP’s advocacy efforts here.