A bill that would require California’s Energy Commission to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy development and assess requirements for implementation has this week moved closer to becoming a law. The bill was approved by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee on Monday. It will next go before the Senate Natural Resources Committee for consideration.
Democrat Assembly member David Chiu introduced the bill to the state legislature in February. In a press release at that time he said, “If the total technical potential for offshore wind capacity along the California coast were built out, the state could see approximately 112 GW of new clean energy.” Chiu noted that the electric system would need about 140 GW of new energy in total to be entirely carbon-free.
In 2018, California enacted legislation requiring the state to have a carbon-free electric system by 2045. Chiu’s Bill 525, if passed, would help the state achieve that goal.
According to Chiu, research shows that turbines would be best positioned 20 to 30 miles offshore, in federal waters, to access wind power.