California floaters worth $40bn

Source: By Renewable Energy News • Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

US federal researchers estimate construction of floating offshore wind farms off California would inject up to $40bn into the state economy.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysed the employment and economic impacts of two hypothetical scenarios: 16GW by 2050 and 10GW by 2050.

Scenario A has more turbines that are installed at a faster rate with more components produced and services procured locally compared to scenario B.

Both options show offshore wind could contribute to the economic development of California in the near term, with even greater impacts seen in later years, NREL said in a report.

Using an in-state supply chain to provide even a modest portion of the material and labor could dramatically increase the economic impact.

Scenario A would add $39.7bn to total state gross domestic product and create about 6500 jobs by 2030 and 28,000 jobs by 2045.

Scenario B would contribute $16.2bn to GDP and create 5000 jobs by 2030 and 16,500 jobs by 2045.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management commissioned the study to help with state and regional planning.

The bureau is reviewing a lease request by Trident Winds for a 800MW floating wind farm off Morro Bay. The developer plans to moor up to 100 turbines about 33 miles off the coast where wind speeds average 8.5 miles/sec.

Trident is targeting a 2025 commercial operation date.

BOEM expects to issue a call this summer to determine if there is competitive interest in the area.