Offshore Renewable Energy - Docket # 17-MISC-01

Karen Douglas, Lead Commissioner

On October 7, 2015 Governor Brown signed the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (De Leon, Chapter 47, Statutes of 2015), which requires electric utilities to increase retail sales of qualified renewable energy to at least 50 percent by 2030. In 2016, Senate Bill 32 (Pavley, Chapter 249, Statutes of 2016) put into law a statewide goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. To help support the state’s long-term GHG reduction goals, the Energy Commission held a workshop as part of the 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report proceedings to explore the viability, potential, opportunities, and challenges of permitting renewable energy offshore California.

In a May 12, 2016 letter to Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Governor Brown requested that a federal/state government task force be formed to coordinate state and federal planning and permitting of offshore renewable energy. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) - California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force (Task Force) was created, and the first meeting of the Task Force was co-convened on October 13, 2016.

To further the collaboration between the state and federal government, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Governor Brown signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 12, 2016 to plan for and implement GHG reduction and renewable energy goals in a cooperative, collaborative, and timely manner. The MOU directs the Task Force to “engage in planning for offshore renewable energy to advance collaborative planning and conservation through data sharing, development and utilization of common data platforms and tools, and proactive stakeholder engagement.” The MOU further directs BOEM and the state to “collaborate and engage in a multi-phase process to collect data to inform planning efforts and identify possible areas offshore California that are suitable for potential offshore renewable energy programs” and to use the initial data and information gathered to “identify one or more suitable areas offshore California for BOEM to issue one or more Calls for Information and Nominations regarding wind energy leasing.”

Scott Flint
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-3774

News media, please call: Media & Public Communications Office - 916-654-4989.

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