Normally I wouldn’t think that a California Energy Commission (CEC) meeting is something which needed to be shared far and wide; but in this case I think an exception is warranted. Some brief background. Last year, Gov Newsom signed AB 525 into law. AB 525 would require the CEC to evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits and to establish offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045, as specified. The Draft Offshore Wind Energy Development off the California Coast: Maximum Feasible Capacity and Megawatt Planning Goals for 2030 and 2045 was published on May 6.
The Draft Report establishes a preliminary planning goal of 3,000 MW (3 GW) of offshore wind for 2030, which could come from a full build-out of the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) or a combination of a partial build-out of the Morro Bay WEA and Humboldt WEA and the total 2045 preliminary megawatt planning goals for the strategic plan at 10,000 MW to 15,000 MW (10 GW to 15 GW).
On May 18, the CEC held a public workshop to present and receive public comment on the draft report. The CEC received a significant number of public comments recommending higher offshore wind megawatt planning goals. You can view some of them here – California Energy Commission : Docket Log.
As a result, a workshop is being held next Monday (6/27) to consider those public comments.
Over the last few days, I have received a number of calls from State Agency folks, NGOs, and other folks implying that the CEC is seriously considering increasing those planning goals; and that absent a strong showing from all concerned sectors – there is a possibility that the planning goals would be increased, which could give BOEM the greenlight to fast track new Call Areas off Northern California (Del Norte & Mendocino) and move the Diablo Canyon Call Area forward as a Wind Energy Area. I am attaching a slide from a PPT presentation given during a OSW meeting awhile back which shows the Areas of Interest (Del Norte & Mendocino) located off Northern California.
The notice for the workshop is available here – Notice of Lead Commissioner Workshop on Assembly Bill 525: Offshore Wind Maximum Feasible Capacity and Megawatt Planning Goals for 2030 and 2045 (govdelivery.com).
I plan on participating and encourage others to do so. I think it would be helpful if folks who will participate let us know – as well as those who are thinking about doing so. Jennifer Norris, Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat, of the California Natural Resources Agency strongly implied that she needs our help in speaking against this. It seems she is against increasing the planning goals as are some of the State sister Agencies; but the CEC may be getting pushed by developers and the Governor.