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To go big on offshore wind, we must invest in seaport infrastructure

Posted on May 15, 2024

California has plans to tap into the abundant and reliable energy of offshore wind that blows far off our coastline to reach a much-needed future powered by 100% clean energy. The state established an ambitious goal to power more than 25 million homes with renewable offshore wind energy by 2045, which along with solar power and batteries will be key for transitioning away from fossil fuels that pollute our air, water and land. Offshore wind will also help us meet our electricity demand every hour of the day.

Remembering offshore wind this infrastructure week

While offshore wind is one of our best allies in the struggle against climate change, California can only tap into its vast potential if we upgrade infrastructure at our seaports. According to the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Draft AB 525 Strategic Plan, California’s ports need a broad array of upgrades to prepare for all the activities needed to support offshore wind development, from staging and integration, to manufacturing and fabrication, to operations and maintenance.

California must invest in the port upgrades needed to manufacture, assemble, and maintain offshore wind components like turbines that will reach up to 1,100 feet in the air and the floating foundations that will support these massive structures in the ocean. The CEC’s plan estimates that an investment of $11 billion to $12 billion is needed to upgrade existing port infrastructure to meet its 2045 offshore wind planning goal. The agency recommends a collaborative port development strategy to support needed port upgrades, along with the identification of funding sources at the state, federal and local levels and programs to encourage early-stage port development to meet our goals on time.

We need $1 billion for offshore wind in California’s climate bond

Environment California staff with Asm.

California must start making the port upgrades necessary to meet its offshore wind goals as soon as possible. We can make a significant initial investment by including $1 billion in a state climate bond for port infrastructure to support offshore wind development. This will complement recent federal funding and help spur further strategies to secure public and private investment to meet all $11 billion to $12 billion worth of necessary port upgrades in California.

Especially in a year with steep budget cuts to environmental and climate programs, it is essential to make a down payment on the critical infrastructure that will help us develop offshore wind to meet our clean energy needs.

Thank you to champions in the state legislature who support including funds for offshore wind in a climate bond. Let’s go big on offshore wind by preparing and upgrading our ports!


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