The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) and a group of private firms have moved ahead with a proposed 100-150MW floating offshore wind farm in Northern California, by submitting a lease application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

NC floating offshore wind farm

Image: RCEA is planning a 100-150MW floating offshore wind farm in Northern California. Photo: courtesy of RCEA.

The proposed floating offshore wind farm has been planned to be developed off the coast of Humboldt County, more than 32km off the Eureka coast. RCEA said that the wind resource off the Humboldt County coast is the best off California owing to its average wind speeds of over 10 meters per second to induce expected high capacity performance from wind farms.

RCEA, which is a Northern California energy authority, selected the consortium made up of Principle Power, EDPR Offshore North America, and Aker Solutions, to create a public-private partnership in April 2018 for the development of the offshore wind energy project.

According to RCEA, the proposed floating offshore wind farm will pave the way for offshore wind energy off the West Coast in the US and it could become the first project to tap into the extraordinary potential of offshore wind energy for California.

RCEA board member Estelle Fennell said: “Humboldt County has much to gain by harnessing our offshore wind power potential.

“Coastal resiliency, local jobs, increased investments in economic development, manufacturing, protecting wildlife and future generations of Humboldt County. The State of California set ambitious goals this week by signing Senate Bill 100, reaching for carbon neutrality and 100% clean electricity by 2045.”

Aker Solutions said that the project partners have the required expertise to develop, finance and operate the offshore wind energy project and also to create an offshore wind energy supply chain.

Aker Solutions CEO Luis Araujo said: “We are extremely excited about this project and are committed to being part of a sustainable solution to the world’s increasing energy needs.

“Together with our partners we are optimistic that this opportunity will develop into a flagship project for the offshore floating wind industry.”

RCEA and the consortium are aiming to commission the floating offshore wind farm in Northern California in 2024.