Welcome to the Future of Clean Energy in California

California Council of Offshore Wind Leaseholders (CCOWL) is a coalition of leading offshore wind leaseholders committed to bringing 100% clean offshore wind energy to the state.

California’s Next Clean Energy Frontier

Floating offshore wind is poised to be California’s next major source of renewable energy and the future of in-state industry.

Tackling climate change

Channeling the inexhaustible and 100% carbon-free energy source of offshore winds, turbines floating on the ocean’s surface can produce energy to be delivered across California. The state has set a goal of developing 25,000 MW of offshore wind power, enough to power 25 million homes.

Floating offshore wind will be essential to achieving SB 100’s target of powering all retail electricity sold in California by 2045 with 100% clean energy. Offshore wind is also an integral aspect of the 2022 California Air Resources Board Scoping Plan to reduce GHG emissions by 85 percent below 1990 levels no later than 2045.

Ensuring grid reliability for a zero-emissions energy grid

Due to its vast energy potential, offshore wind will be an ideal complement to California’s energy portfolio and help to ensure grid reliability and energy security statewide.

Offshore wind blows consistently across the day and months of the year, filling in the gaps when the sun has set and during cloudy winter months. Renewable energy diversity is key to maintaining grid reliability, particularly during extreme weather events. As the state transitions to 100% clean energy, we will need diverse resources that can collectively perform all hours of the year to eliminate our reliance on fossil-fueled and aging nuclear power plants.

Advancing California’s green economy

California’s offshore wind industry has the potential to drive economic growth and create high-paying, skilled and trained jobs in state. With 300,000 MW of floating offshore wind projected to be online globally by 2050, California’s early leadership could put the state at the center of the manufacturing supply chain for a burgeoning global industry.

Conservation and Land-use

Fighting climate change will mean building expansive quantities of renewable energy on land. Achieving California’s SB 100 goals may require up to 3 million acres of wind and solar. Offshore wind energy, sited 20-30 miles offshore, can help reduce land-use pressure from renewable development to balance our conservation, agricultural economy, and climate change goals.

Community benefits and partnerships

Offshorewind developers are committed to working closely with local tribes, communities and stakeholders to create projects that yield tangible benefits, through community benefit agreements, job training partnerships, and other creative collaborations. Developers will also work with other ocean users to avoid, minimize and mitigate potential use conflicts.

California’s Offshore Wind Projects

The California floating offshore wind turbines will stand up to 1,100 ft tall, with a rotating diameter of up to 1,000 ft and three 600 ft. rotors capable of generating 15-25 MW of clean energy. The turbines will sit on floating platforms up to 425 ft wide.

California has set a goal to harness up to 5,000 MW of power by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045, equivalent to 12 Diablo Canyon Power Plants or Hoover Dams. The first 5 lease areas off Morro Bay and Humboldt could provide up to 10 GW of power.

History of Offshore Wind in California

2023: AB 1373

Signed into law by Governor Newsom in October 2023, AB 1373 (E. Garcia) expands California’s toolkit to build large-scale renewable energy projects, like offshore floating wind, by establishing a dedicated buyer. This ‘central procurement’ strategy is a major step towards development and delivery of 100% clean energy from offshore wind, helping California meet its clean energy goals while creating thousands of high-wage jobs.

2022: Offshore wind auction

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a historic auction for five leases offshore California, the first ever in the Pacific Ocean. The five lease areas, sold for a cumulative price of $757.1 million, cover over 370,000 acres.

The lease purchases also included over $50 Million in commitments toward community benefit agreements (CBAs) for local communities, stakeholder groups, or Tribal entities and more than $117 million investment in programs or initiatives that support workforce training programs and the U.S. domestic supply chain for the floating offshore wind energy industry.

2021: AB 525

Signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2021, AB 525 (Chiu) directed the California Energy Commission (CEC) to assess the “maximum feasible capacity” of offshore wind production in California and to develop an offshore wind strategic plan. As a result of AB 525, in 2023 the CEC adopted a target of producing 25,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2045 – enough to power 25 million homes and meet approximately 25% of California’s total electricity needs.

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 Invenergy, RWE, Equinor, Golden State Wind, and Vineyard Offshore; 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.

Get in Touch

We’re here to help. If you have any questions about CCOWL and offshore wind, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by email at info@pacificoffshorewind.org.