Sacramento, CA—Offshore wind energy in California is one step closer to becoming reality, with the California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water today advancing a bill for the development of utility-scale offshore wind energy to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Labor, climate and environmental justice groups applaud the continued momentum of AB 525 as a key energy solution that could support a cleaner, more resilient electricity grid, especially as the state’s hydroelectricity supply dwindles due to major drought conditions.
The vote today follows a historic agreement earlier this summer by the state of California and the federal government to open up California coastal waters to offshore wind development. The momentum behind the bill signals that California could rapidly be headed for a wide-scale offshore wind development in the coming years — a key step in California’s most cost-effective pathway to 100% clean energy while also supporting the state’s electric grid and creating thousands of jobs.
AB 525 is sponsored by Environment California and the State Building and Construction Trades and has the support of dozens of organizations, including Brightline Defense, The Climate Center, Environmental Defense Fund, Operating Engineers Humboldt County, Audubon, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org and more.
Through the development of just five offshore wind sites, California could provide up to 25% of the state’s electricity needs — helping to improve air quality in key communities while providing reliable, clean energy in the wake of the retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in coming years.
“Today’s advancement of AB 525 offers the promise of rapid adoption of clean, offshore wind energy. As the state faces drought and the potential of devastating wildfires, it’s more important than ever that we take action to adopt offshore wind energy technologies as a cost-effective solution that will support our electricity grid and help ensure a 100% clean energy future.”
Laura Deehan, state director for Environment California.
“Offshore wind energy is a critical step to ensure clean air and a sustainable future, especially for frontline communities facing disproportionate air quality impacts. Today we celebrate the continued advancement of AB 525 and its continued momentum for local jobs, cleaner air, and environmental equity in offshore wind.
Eddie Ahn, executive director at Brightline Defense.
"AB 525 is a win for anyone that cares about our climate and the future of California's economy. Offshore wind is a unique and abundant clean energy resource that can help California achieve its urgent climate goals in environmentally appropriate ways while creating thousands of good jobs. We're encouraged by the commitment to include technical experts, labor representatives, and environmental justice communities in the planning process for developing offshore wind in California, and we look forward to seeing Governor Newsom sign AB 525 into law this year."
Ellie Cohen, CEO at The Climate Center.
“EDF wants to ensure that all Californians have access to an affordable, clean and safe energy system. Offshore wind could be a highly complementary generation asset to our electric grid.”
Michael Colvin, director regulatory and legislative affairs, California Energy Program at Environmental Defense Fund.
“As our state and communities rebuild from the economic downturn, offshore wind energy offers the promise of thousands of career-track manufacturing and construction jobs in local communities. Continued momentum on SB 525 is essential to support economic stability and a sustainable future.”
Jeff Hunerlach, district representative at Operating Engineers Humboldt County.