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The Biden government announced Tuesday that it would work with the state of California to develop offshore wind projects in the Pacific.
The first of its kind is an important step towards the White House’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.
A designated area is approximately 399 square miles off the central California coast. This area is designed to support 3 GW offshore wind. A second potential location is off the north coast of California. In total, the administration is aiming for 4.6 GW of clean energy, which will be fed into the grid through these projects. This is enough to supply around 1.6 million households with electricity.
The announcement follows years of discussions between Ministries of Home Affairs and Defense as viable locations were identified.
“Developing offshore wind power to generate clean, renewable energy could make a big difference in meeting California’s clean energy goals and tackling climate change – while boosting the economy and creating new jobs,” Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the Biden government also highlighted the economic impact, particularly in terms of jobs.
“The offshore wind industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of well-paying union jobs across the country while tackling the negative effects of climate change,” Interior Minister Deb Haaland said in a statement. “Interior is proud to be part of a state-wide approach to meeting the Biden-Harris government’s ambitious renewable energy goals,” she added.
Tuesday’s announcement comes just weeks after the White House approved the first major offshore wind project in U.S. waters. The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project is located off the coast of Massachusetts and is forecast to supply 400,000 households with electricity and create 3,600 jobs.
Offshore wind development in the Pacific has proven difficult in the past for a number of reasons, including that the outer continental shelf is much closer to the coast than the Atlantic. To counteract this, the federal government has invested more than 100 million US dollars in the further development of floating offshore wind projects.
“Today’s announcement again shows that through a nationwide approach, the US can intelligently develop our country’s world-class offshore wind energy resources, leverage new technologies our government has advanced and create thousands of well-paying businesses. Union jobs,” the national said Climate advisor Gina McCarthy.
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