Auction for Morro Bay offshore wind farm leases set for December


A lease auction for five offshore wind development areas, three of which are off the coast of San Luis Obispo County, will take place on Dec. 6. [GV Wire]

The Dec. 6 lease sale will mark the first United States auction for commercial-scale floating offshore wind development. It will also be the first-ever lease sale for offshore wind energy on the West Coast, Biden Administration officials say.

Last year, the federal Department of the Interior, in coordination with the Department of Defense, identified a 399-square-mile area northwest of Morro Bay as a location that will support three gigawatts of offshore wind. The federal agency also announced it was advancing wind energy projects located offshore of Humboldt County.

Then in May, the Biden Administration announced plans to auction five offshore areas for wind development, three of which are northwest of Morro Bay and two of which are off of Humboldt County. The Department of the Interior publicized a proposed sale notice for the commercial wind energy leases offshore of Morro Bay and Humboldt County, with proposed auction prices starting at $8 million each.

A final sale notice for the auction will outline the lease terms for the five offshore wind areas. The lease terms will include stipulations to promote a domestic supply chain and to create union jobs.

“We’re not just committed to the country’s transition to a clean energy economy, one that combats climate change, creates good-paying jobs and ensures economic opportunities are accessible to all,” Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Amanda Lefton said. “We’re actually taking action and driving results.”

The five wind areas off the coast of California are expected to power more than 1.5 million homes and create thousands of new jobs, Lefton said.