The third offshore wind lease sale of the year and the first ever for the Pacific area, the Biden administration said on Wednesday that more than $757 million in winning bids had been received for its auction of offshore wind development rights in California.
The transaction marks a significant turning point in the administration’s plan to install offshore wind farms along the nation’s coastlines in order to power communities and make the switch to sustainable energy.
In order to combat climate change, the White House has promised to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, which is enough to power 10 million homes.
The auction this week will also make investments possible in floating turbines, a cutting-edge technology required to supply electricity when coastal seas are too deep for conventional turbines to be fastened into the ocean floor.
Small-scale trial experiments using this technology have already been carried out in Europe.
🎉 The first-ever California offshore wind auction blew in $757 million in bids, making the pacific coast's first ever auction a success. #offshorewind https://t.co/d4pB2Cb4Dy
— Chambers for Innovation (@chambersinnov8) December 8, 2022
Off the coasts of California, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Interior Department held an auction for five lease areas totaling around 373,268 acres.
The leases are situated off the coasts of Northern and Central California, respectively, in the areas of Morro Bay and Humboldt County. According to the government, the projects covered by those leases could provide enough energy to power more than 1.5 million homes.
According to Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, a trade organization for the oil industry, “the California lease sale gives the U.S. a chance to lead the emerging floating wind sector.”
Although still in its infancy, floating wind technology is a cutting-edge innovation that will significantly increase the deployment of offshore wind.
California North Floating, RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, Central California Offshore Wind, and Invenergy California Offshore are some of the winning bidders.