Renewable energy proponents have been imagining large farms of wind turbines sitting off the coast of California. Now their vision is becoming a reality – up north at least.
As California officials work with energy companies in order to meet its ambitious clean energy goals, the U.S. Navy released a new map that outlines where the state will be able to put it’s brand new offshore wind farms and guess what? They’re all located in Northern California.
Last month, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority formed a consortium to erect a 100 to 150-megawatt wind farm of between 12 to 15 turbines more than 20 miles off the coast of Eureka. The turbines will be 700 to 900 feet tall. The project is expected to go online in 2024 or 2025.
Most of the wind farm locations will be in the North Coast area, including Humboldt and Del Norte counties, with more near the Mendocino coast and some off the Bay Area coast.
Last month, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority formed a group to build a 100 to 150-megawatt wind farm of between 12 to 15 turbines more than 20 miles off the coast of Eureka. The turbines will be 700 to 900 feet tall. The project is expected to go online in 2024 or 2025.
Offshore wind farms work with floating wind turbines using wind to spin their propellers and collect energy in the ocean, and using underwater cables, collect and store the energy in a storage facility on the shore. It’s estimated that nearly a terrawatt of electricity will be generated off the coast of California, 13 times more capacity than all the land-based wind farms across the country generate.
Many people were hoping to include wind farms across the entire coast of California, but the Navy nixed much of Southern California. That being said, their suggestive map is just that – a suggestion. Energy companies are working with Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a concrete plan. They also won’t build near National Marine Sanctuaries.
The wind blows much harder on the Northern California coast in comparison to its southern counterpart.
Offshore wind farms have become popular in European countries like Denmark and Scotland, and the first offshore wind farm was built in Rhode Island in 2016. The California wind farms must float in order to avoid building on the steep and rocky ocean floor off the California coast.