The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on December 6 for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California. This will be the first offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first US sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.
Earlier this month, BOEM completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the Morro Bay wind energy area (WEA), located 20 miles offshore central California. The agency issued a finding of no significant impacts (FONSI) to environmental resources, opening the door to the coming lease sale.
BOEM will offer five California OCS lease areas – three off central California and two off northern California – that total 373,268 acres, with the potential to produce over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy.
The California final sale notice (FSN), which will be published in the Federal Register this week, provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions, and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies who can participate in the lease auction.
The FSN includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic US supply chain, advance flexibility in transmission planning and create good paying union jobs. Among the stipulations, BOEM will offer bidding credits for bidders who enter into community benefit agreements or invest in workforce training or supply chain development; require winning bidders to make efforts to enter into project labour agreements; and require engagement with Tribes, underserved communities, ocean users and agencies.