California considered for offshore wind

April 4 (UPI) — A consortium of power and engineering firms are advancing on what could be the first wind farm off the coast of California, the project director said.

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority, a local government powers agency in northern California, said a selected a group of companies would help drive the development of a possible 100 to 150 megawatt floating wind farm off the coast of Humboldt County. Around 100 average households could be powered by 1 MW.

RCEA said the wind resources off the northern coast of California are the best in the state. If sanctioned, the project, which counts Norwegian offshore services company Aker Solutions and the North American subsidiary of Spanish energy company EDP Renewables as its partners, would be the first of its kind for the region.

“This project is strategic in the long-run and attractive to us due to its potential to spur large market development in California,” EDP Renewables CEO João Manso Neto said in a statement. “EDP Renewables is confident in the viability of the offshore wind market and looks forward to continuing development on this project with the ultimate goal of further increasing our operational presence in the United States.”

Rhode Island in 2016 became the first state in the nation to have a wind farm off its coast. In the second quarter of last year, Maryland opened up its waters for offshore wind energy development. In his State of the State address this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that, with a mandate to get half of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030, offshore wind power was on his radar.

Cuomo last year formed a climate alliance with his counterparts in California and Washington state to work on the benchmarks laid out in the global Paris climate deal. California has been a national leader in renewable energy, countering President Donald Trump’s push for more offshore drilling with mandates of opposition.

New drilling ambitions outlined by the Trump administration were described in a joint statement by California Gov. Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee as a “reckless, short-sighted action.”