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The Biden administration just announced the first-ever California offshore wind lease sale

The US Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on December 6, 2022, off central and northern California. It’s also the first-ever US sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.

BOEM director Amanda Lefton made announcement at the American Clean Power Association’s Offshore WINDPOWER 2022 conference and exhibition.

The wind energy lease areas are in two regions on the Outer Continental Shelf off of the California coastline that cover approximately 373,268 acres. The leases in the Morro Bay (pictured) and Humboldt wind energy areas will generate at least 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of clean power – enough to power 1.5 million homes.

The new Pacific offshore wind power will help meet both California’s goal of a net zero grid by 2045 and the US’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Lefton said at the WINDPOWER conference:

Today’s announcement represents years of close coordination and engagement with the state of California, Tribes, ocean users, local communities, and all interested parties to move us closer toward achieving the administration’s vision to fight climate change and realizing California’s clean energy future, while creating a domestic supply chain and good-paying union jobs.

Just five days ago, Electrek reported that US coastal states increased their long-term offshore wind targets by 58% in the third quarter of 2022, which sets a record for quarterly growth.

One of the things spurring that growth is federal support for a floating wind turbine industry, with the Biden administration’s Floating Offshore Wind Shot initiative and a goal to deploy 15 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2035.

BOEM has, to date, held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

Photo: “Morro Bay Power Plant” by Maxinux40k is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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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.