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Recently, The US Department of Interior has identified an area (the Morro Bay 399 Area) that will support 3 GW of offshore wind on roughly 399 sq mi (1,033 sq km) off central California, northwest of Morro Bay. It is also advancing Humboldt as a potential wind energy area offshore northern California. These two call areas will translate into a proposed sale notice for one lease sale auction, targeted for mid-2022. According to DOI, these initial areas for offshore wind development could bring up to 4.6 GW of energy to the grid, enough to power 1.6 million homes. However, there are many barriers to overcome before 4.6 GW vision can be realized.
This forum will discuss what the pathway to 4.6 GW looks like. Stakeholders and policy makers will answer crucial questions, such as: what scale and pace of offshore wind deployment is needed to kick start development whilst benefiting California’s energy system and its end users? What are the implications of a 4.6 GW build out on California’s renewable energy targets? What are the transmission and interconnection challenges? And on sharing the ocean with other users, the environment and wildlife?