Federal Government Sets California Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale for December 6

October 18, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
October 18, 2022

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on Dec. 6, 2022, for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California, the Department of Interior said on Oct. 18.

This will be the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s West Coast and the first-ever U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development.

“This sale will be critical to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s deployment goals of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035,” Interior said. BOEM is part of Interior.

In May 2021, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and California Governor Gavin Newsom joined Biden-Harris administration leaders to announce an agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California.

The California sale reflects the leasing path announced last year by Haaland and last month’s announcement of a new deployment goal of 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035.

BOEM will offer five California OCS lease areas that total approximately 373,268 acres with the potential to produce over 4.5 GW of offshore wind energy.

To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

The California Final Sale Notice (FSN), which will publish in the Federal Register later this week, provides detailed information about the final lease areas, lease provisions and conditions, and auction details. It also identifies qualified companies that can participate in the lease auction.

The FSN includes three lease areas off central California and two lease areas off northern California.

It also includes several lease stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain and advance flexibility in transmission planning.

Among the stipulations announced Oct. 18, BOEM will offer bidding credits for bidders that enter into community benefit agreements or invest in workforce training or supply chain development; require winning bidders to make efforts to enter into project labor agreements; and require engagement with Tribes, underserved communities, ocean users, and agencies.

More information about the FSN and lease stipulations, a map of the area, the list of qualified bidders for the auction, and auction procedures is available on BOEM’s California website.