Northern California agency selects consortium for first US floating wind farm

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018

  • A local government collaboration aimed at developing renewable energy in northern California has selected a consortium of five companies to construct a 100-150 MW floating wind farm off the cost of Eureka, Calif.
  • The Redwood Coast Energy Authority said it received six responses to a request for qualifications issued in February. RCEA includes nine members including Humboldt County and the city of Eureka.
  • The project is being led by Spain’s EDP Renewables and Houston-based Principle Energy Inc. Officials say the project will drive investment in local infrastructure at the Port of Humboldt Bay and other nearby onshore facilities.

While the United States is just beginning to develop an offshore wind industry, the bulk of efforts have been concentrated on the East Coast. Now led by Humboldt County, the RCEA is looking to act as a “prospective stepping stone for the offshore wind energy industry on the West Coast.”

The group touted Humboldt’s physical advantages to There is ample wind — the best California has, they say— with average wind speeds of more than ten meters per second. The proposed project could be up to 150 MW and would be located more than 20 miles off the coast of Eureka.

RCEA is a local government joint powers agency and includes Humboldt County and the cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell, and Trinidad. The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. is also a member.In addition to Principle Power and EDPR, companies involved in the consortium include Aker Solutions Inc., H.T. Harvey & Associates, and Herrera Environmental Consultants.

Some 3,000 miles away, the offshore market is farther along in development.

Earlier this year, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority issued a “master plan” for developing the state’s offshore wind energy industry to help meet its target of 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030. Massachusetts has set ambitious offshore wind goals as well.

Connecticut could also be developing the resource should it choose one of the offshore wind projects submitted for its request for proposals to boost its clean energy. And in New Jersey, state regulators will hold a solicitation for 1,100 MW of offshore capacity.