New Projects, Renewables, Wind

1st Offshore Wind Project Proposed for California Coast

1st Offshore Wind Project Proposed for California Coast

An offshore developer has proposed the first ocean wind farm off the coast of California.

Trident Winds LLC, a unit of Trident Energy, has filed plans with Morro Bay city officials for a project that would see the installation of 100 floating wind turbines, each about 636 feet tall, about 15 miles off the San Luis Obispo County shoreline.

The proposed project would generate up to 1,000 MW of electricity, enough to supply 300,000 homes with power.

Plans indicate the turbines will be spaced about a half-mile apart across 40,000 acres and linked together with underwater power cables.

The farm’s output will be shipped through a power line buried in the ocean floor to the Morro Bay Power Plant, a Dynegy-owned plant that closed in 2013 but is still connected to existing transmission lines.

Alla Weinstein, CEO of Trident Winds, expects securing the necessary permits to develop the offshore farm to take several years but she’s already met with fishermen, university officials at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and local political leaders, and a public hearing is scheduled for December.

While numerous environmental studies are still needed as well as investors for the multimillion-dollar project, Weinstein plans to apply for an offshore lease in 2016.

The country’s first offshore wind project is currently under construction off the coast of Rhode Island.  Workers began installing turbines over the summer for the Cape Wind project, which features five turbines and is expected online in 2017.