California is a pioneer in land-based wind energy. In 2019, the state’s installed wind capacity was the fifth largest in the U.S. – 6 gigawatts.

Now, the state is looking to offshore wind energy for help in meeting its climate and clean energy goals.

Estimates by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory show that California has the potential for more than 100 GW of offshore wind. The vast majority of the potential resource is located in deep water, requiring floating platform technology instead of fixed turbines mounted to the seabed.

In 2019, the California Energy Commission’s Energy Research and Development (R&D) Division contracted with Navigant Consulting, Inc. to assess research, development, and deployment opportunities to support cost-effective wind development off the California coast.

The study focused on identifying opportunities to remove or reduce technological, manufacturing, logistical, and supply chain barriers to lower the development risk of offshore energy projects.

The project team also developed a Research Database that aggregates publicly announced offshore research efforts started or completed between January 2017 and January 2020. The database includes select technical and market reports completed prior to 2017, but generally excludes journal articles, white papers, and conference dockets.

The database prioritizes publicly funded initiatives conducted within the United States, and adds global research efforts potentially applicable to the California market.