The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has designated 20 miles offshore of the central California coastline and roughly 240,898 acres as the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area.
Now that the area has been identified as a potential offshore location for wind energy projects, BOEM plans to move forward on an Environmental Assessment to look at potential effects “from site characterization activities (e.g., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys) and site assessment activities (e.g., installation of meteorological buoys)” in the area, according to the agency.
Once feedback is gathered, a draft Environmental Assessment is expected to be available for the public to review and comment. The assessment would then help BOEM decide whether to pursue a potential lease sale in the area, according to the agency.
“Offshore wind presents a significant opportunity for California and our nation as we transition to clean, renewable energy,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton, adding that the announcement “represents significant progress towards that future. As the process continues, BOEM is committed to environmental reviews, which are critical for a strong resource management program, and to robust public engagement.”
Meanwhile, BOEM finished reviewing the Construction and Operations Plan for the Vineyard Wind project. BOEM plans to look at 10 other COPs and review at least five more by 2025.
More information is available at www.boem.gov/MorroBayEA.