SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday directing state regulators to set a target and make a plan for offshore wind energy in California. AB 525, which was cosponsored by Environment California and supported by a coalition of labor, climate and environmental justice groups, sets California on track to tap into the tremendous clean energy potential of wind off California’s coast. The bill will advance planning for the development of the first utility-scale offshore wind projects off the West Coast.
According to a recent report, California has enough offshore wind power potential to meet 157% of the state’s 2019 electricity use. The passage of this bill comes as the Biden administration sets ambitious goals for offshore wind throughout the United States. This bill will ensure that California creates its own targets and brings together key agencies and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan that meets the target while minimizing disruption of the marine ecosystem.
Laura Deehan, state director with Environment California issued the following statement:
“By signing this important offshore wind bill, Governor Newsom is ensuring we bring a new clean energy power source to our state at a scale necessary to make a difference. For too long we have depended on burning fossil fuels to keep the lights on. As California’s electricity needs continue to grow as we develop more electrified transportation and buildings, laws like the one signed today will ensure that we’ll be ready to meet that demand with clean renewable offshore wind just 25 miles off our California coast.”
Lizzi Nickerson, Clean Energy associate with Environment California, issued this statement:
“Going big on offshore wind will allow California to build a reliable, resilient and renewable electricity grid that will consistently provide power in the face of such climate impacts as persistent drought and rising temperatures. In signing California’s offshore wind bill, the governor puts our state on a path to addressing climate change, improving air quality, and tapping into the limitless power of offshore wind.”