Distributed Energy Resources

California Governor Signs Offshore Wind Legislation Into Law

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law a bill that directs state agencies to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind resources in California.

Newsom on Sept. 23 signed into law AB 525 by Assemblymember David Chiu.

Under the new law, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has until June 1, 2022, to evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind “to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits and shall establish megawatt offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045.”

The law also calls for the CEC, in coordination with the California Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ocean Protection Council, and State Lands Commission, to work with stakeholders, other state, local, and federal agencies, and the offshore wind energy industry to identify suitable sea space for wind energy areas in federal waters sufficient to accommodate the offshore wind planning goals.

In May 2021, the Biden administration, in conjunction with Newsom, announced an agreement identifying regions off the California coast that could support the administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.

According to a recent report, California has enough offshore wind power potential to meet 157% of the state’s 2019 electricity use.