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    Rep. Carbajal Applauds Biden-Harris Administration Announcement of First-Ever California Offshore Wind Lease Sale


    May 27, 2022 - Targeted News Service

     

      MORRO BAY, California, May 27 -- Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-California, issued the following news release on May 26, 2022:

      Congressman Salud Carbajal applauded the announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration of the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in California's history.

      "After years of collaboration with our local, state, and federal partners, today's announcement of the sale of California's first-ever offshore wind leases proves that the Central Coast is leading the way to our clean energy future." said Rep. Carbajal. "Offshore wind holds incredible promise as a means to tackle climate change, and will serve our environmental, clean energy, national security, and economic prosperity goals for generations to come. The proposed sale in Morro Bay will help secure the Central Coast's dominance as a renewable energy powerhouse, which will attract new businesses and good paying, future-oriented jobs in a burgeoning sector of the economy."

      The proposed sale area has the potential to unlock over 4.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, power more than 1.5 million homes, and support thousands of new jobs.

      The area available for offshore wind development in Morro Bay would span 376 square miles, enough to produce 3GW of energy, which represents the largest proposed floating offshore wind project in the United States. A map can be found here (https://carbajal.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Morro_Bay_Call_Area_Extensions.pdf).

      Today's announcement comes a year after Rep. Carbajal joined Administration leaders to unveil an agreement to allow offshore wind development off the coast of Morro Bay. More details of today's announcement can be found here (https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/california).

      This offshore wind lease sale is the product of negotiations conducted by Rep. Carbajal's Offshore Wind Working Group, which was created in August 2019 to coordinate between federal, state, and local partners and is composed of representatives from the offices of Rep. Carbajal and Rep. Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Navy, and California Energy Commission (CEC).

      Negotiations had previously stalled amid hesitation from the Navy, until Rep. Carbajal offered an amendment to the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act in order to move the development forward off of Morro Bay and get negotiations back on track.

      Following the amendment's passage, Carbajal secured a written commitment from the Navy indicating a willingness to collaborate with the Working Group to identify an area for development that would meet energy production goals.

      Offshore wind is one component of a multi-pronged strategy to transform the Central Coast into a renewable energy hub. The Central Coast is already home to the California Valley Solar Ranch and Morro Bay could soon host the largest battery plant in the world. With the addition of an offshore wind project, the Central Coast is positioned to lead the country in renewable energy construction and output.

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