Offshore Wind Energy Development off the California Coast: Maximum Feasible Capacity and Megawatt Planning Goals for 2030 and 2045
May 06, 2022
Commission Siting Decisions and Regulations (800)
Offshore Renewable Energy
Scott Flint, Rhetta deMesa, Pamela Doughman, Elizabeth Huber
This report responds to the directive set forth by Assembly Bill 525 (AB 525, Chiu, Chapter 231, Statutes of 2021). The law directs that on or before June 1, 2022, the California Energy Commission (CEC) shall “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits and shall establish megawatt offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045.” This report addresses these requirements. Furthermore, it discusses the potential for offshore wind energy development in federal waters off the California coast to provide a new source of electricity generation, add technology diversity to the state’s renewable energy and zero-carbon resource portfolio, and help California meet its ambitious climate and energy goals.
This report is the first of four work products the CEC is directed by AB 525 to prepare. By no later than June 30, 2023, the CEC, in coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and a wide variety of stakeholders, must develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy developments installed off the California coast in federal waters and submit it to the California Natural Resources Agency and the Legislature. The strategic plan is to be informed by interim activities and products developed by the CEC that include this report and two additional reports due on or before December 31, 2022. The two additional reports include assessing the economic benefits of offshore wind as they relate to seaport investments and workforce development needs and standards and preparing a permitting roadmap that describes time frames and milestones for a coordinated, comprehensive, and efficient permitting process for offshore wind energy facilities and associated electricity and transmission infrastructure off the California coast.