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EGEB: California bill, headed to governor, will ramp up offshore wind deployment

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The California State Legislature passed a bill that will accelerate offshore wind farm deployment.
  • As electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles increase, the grid must be updated at the same time – study.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

California offshore wind

The California State Legislature has passed bill AB-525, which will accelerate deployment of offshore wind farms off the California coast. It will now go to Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) for his signature. Newsom will remain in office after defeating a recall vote in a landslide.

AB-525 directs state agencies to evaluate and quantify the range of maximum capacity of offshore wind goals for production in 2030 and 2045.

Feasibility studies will need to be completed by June 1, 2022. It also directs the state to develop a broader strategic plan for developing offshore wind, which is due in June 2023.

Nancy Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Association, noted to Utility Dive that California now needs to make formal commitments to offshore wind, the way the US East Coast has:

[W]e’ve got some really big challenges — first is the state really needs to make a commitment to offshore wind in order to attract the industry investment here, and it hasn’t yet made that commitment.

As Electrek reported, on May 25, the Biden administration announced that the US Pacific Coast would be open to commercial-scale offshore clean energy projects for the first time. The goal is to deploy a total of 4.6 gigawatts of offshore wind off the California coast, enough to power 1.6 million homes.

US grid update needed ASAP

National Grid, a utility that serves New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and Hitachi ABB Power Grids, jointly released a study today titled, “The Road to Transportation Decarbonization: Understanding Grid Impacts of Electric Fleets.”

They undertook the study to understand the charging needs of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) such as buses, package delivery vans, and freight trucks, and how electric fleets might impact the electricity grid. 

The study focused on a major US Northeast (unnamed) metro region. It sought to understand how differences in fleet locations, use patterns, fleet sizes, and other factors impact fleet operators’ charging needs. The study also explored how electric demand could affect specific parts of the electric distribution and transmission system.

It identified more than 50 operating fleets, analyzed their potential charging behavior and power needs, and mapped them to electric distribution lines.

Researchers determined that parts of the electric grid are at risk of eventually being overloaded by large vehicles’ charging needs if system upgrades or alternative solutions are not simultaneously implemented.

The study recommends that utilities, system operators, fleet operators, and policymakers begin planning for medium- and long-term fleet electrification. The study suggests that an “all-options” approach is considered: transmission, distribution, distributed resources, and managed charging programs. 

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.