The overflow crowd at the Rosenfeld Hearing Room at the Energy Commission was a sign that interest in offshore wind continues to grow in California.
The March meeting, which the Energy Commission hosted, drew more 100 attendees from agencies, private industry and others to weigh in on the possibility that offshore wind can come to California.
Energy Commissioners David Hochschild and Karen Douglas led the meeting, which was organized in partnership with the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM). The two agencies are partnering to explore offshore wind issues off California's coast.
"California is currently implementing a comprehensive set of climate change policies, including 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030, and we're interested in learning about how offshore wind could play a role in helping achieve our climate and renewable energy goals," said Douglas.
The Energy Commission has reached out to tribes and environmental groups in coastal areas. The next meeting will be held April 13 in San Luis Obispo. The Central Coast outreach coincides with BOEM's expected plan to open a lease auction for an offshore wind farm off the coast of Morro Bay later this year.
BOEM is one of several federal agencies with jurisdiction over projects in federal waters, which extend from three miles off the coast out to 200 miles. California oversees projects within three miles of the coast or islands.
California's deep coastal waters demand that wind turbines be built on floating platforms. The floating platforms will require additional technological innovation.