NREL Analyzes Layouts for the First Floating Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas on the West Coast

May 27, 2022

Building on previous assessments of wind resources and development costs off the California coast, researchers at NREL have released a report that proposes optimal arrangements for developing two wind energy leasing areas off the West Coast (Morro Bay and Humboldt) for the first time. The information required novel analyses of floating wind turbines for the Pacific Ocean’s deep waters and will help the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management establish the first commercial offshore wind energy leases on the West Coast. Development could produce 4.5 gigawatts or more of power for over 1.5 million homes on the U.S. grid, according to the report. This would bring California closer to its 2045 goal of 100% clean retail electricity and the United States closer to its 2030 offshore wind energy and 2035 clean energy goals.