California Activities

Winners of the California Lease Areas, $757,100,000 in High Bids

What's New?

BOEM Announces Environmental Review of Future Development of California Offshore Wind Leases, a 60 day comment period begins December 20, 2023.

Efforts Underway:

BOEM is managing federal oversight authority on five existing leases in California, two in northern California off Humboldt County, and three in Central California near Morro Bay. For more information, please click on the Existing Leases tab above.

BOEM is also currently working on a programmatic environmental review document that will describe the potential impacts of federal offshore wind energy development activities off the coast of California, as well as the change in those impacts that could result from adopting programmatic mitigation measures. BOEM will conduct subsequent site-specific NEPA analyses and consultations for individual proposed wind energy projects as construction and operations plans for those projects are received.  Information on the California Offshore Wind Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, including public engagement opportunities, can be found on the CA Offshore Wind PEIS page.

Public Engagement

BOEM continues to coordinate planning for potential offshore renewable energy leasing and development activities through the BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, a partnership of members of state, local and federally-recognized Tribal governments and federal agencies. The task force serves as a forum to: discuss issues and concerns; exchange data and information about biological and physical resources, ocean uses and priorities; and facilitate early and continual dialogue and collaboration opportunities.

Public Information Meetings and Outreach Efforts

Environmental Studies

BOEM has funded or considered numerous studies to collect information about the marine environment to support decisions concerning offshore renewable energy development. For more information, please visit https://www.boem.gov/environment/environmental-studies-pacific.

Related Press Releases

2016 Request for Interest

In January 2016, BOEM received an unsolicited request for a commercial lease from Trident Winds LLC (Trident Winds). In order to determine competitive interest, BOEM published a notice in the Federal Register, "Potential Commercial Lease for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore California - Request for Interest (RFI)” in Docket No. BOEM-2016-0051 on August 18, 2016. Based on responses to the RFI, BOEM determined that competitive interest existed offshore California and BOEM and the State of California initiated the competitive planning and leasing process for possible future leasing for offshore wind development.

2018 Call for Information and Nominations

On October 19, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to obtain nominations from companies interested in commercial wind energy leases within the proposed areas off central and northern California. In addition to nominations, BOEM sought public input on the potential for wind energy development in the Call Areas. This includes site conditions, resources, and multiple uses in close proximity to, or within, the Call Areas that would be relevant to BOEM’s review of any nominations submitted, as well as BOEM’s subsequent decision whether to offer all or part of the Call Areas for commercial wind leasing.

Below are documents related to the 2018 Call:

2018 Call Maps

GIS/Shape Files for Mapping

2021 Call for Information and Nominations

On May 25, 2021, the Departments of the Interior and Defense and the state of California announced their agreement to advance areas for wind energy development offshore the northern and central coasts of California, enabling a path forward for the Humboldt Call Area and areas within and adjacent to the Morro Bay Call Area.

On July 29, 2021, BOEM published the Morro Bay East and West Extensions – Call for Information and Nominations in the Federal Register, which initiated a 45-day public comment period. BOEM accepted industry nominations and public comments until September 13, 2021.

The Morro Bay Call Area East Extension and the Morro Bay Call Area West Extension offshore the central California coast consist of approximately 90,025 acres (141 square statute miles).

Below are documents related to the 2021 Call:

2021 Area Identification Memos

On July 28, 2021, BOEM announced the designation of the Humboldt Wind Energy Area (WEA). The Humboldt WEA is located approximately 20 miles offshore the northern California coastline and comprises 132,369 acres (206.8 square miles). The analysis and rational used to develop the Humboldt WEA are described in the Area Identification Memo for the Morro Bay WEA. The full Area Identification Memo can be found here:

On November 12, 2021, BOEM announced the designation of the Morro Bay WEA. The Morro Bay WEA is located approximately 20 miles offshore the central California coastline and comprises approximately 240,898 acres (376 square miles). The analysis and rational used to develop the Morro Bay WEA are described in the Area Identification Memo for the Morro Bay WEA. As described in the Area Identification Memo, the Morro Bay WEA includes the 2021 Call West Extension and a portion of the 2018 Call Area, while omitting the 2021 Call East Extension. The full Area Identification Memo can be found here:

California Wind Energy Areas (WEAs)

The Humboldt WEA and Morro Bay WEA were each subject to an environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act to consider the environmental consequences associated with issuing commercial wind leases and associated site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys). For more information on the WEAs and environmental reviews, please follow the links below.

Proposed Lease Sale

On May 26, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced proposed auction details and lease terms for offshore wind energy development in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area and Humboldt Wind Energy Area, located offshore central and northern California, respectively. The California Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) which included a 60-day public comment period, provided detailed information about potential areas that could be available for leasing, proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures), and lease execution. The proposal included up to five lease areas within the two WEAs off California for potential commercial wind energy development. The proposed lease areas in the Humboldt and Morro Bay WEAs consist of approximately 373,268 acres (583 square miles) and have the potential to unlock over 4.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, powering more than 1.5 million homes and supporting new jobs. 
Materials related to the proposed lease sale are below.

California Auction Seminar

BOEM held an auction seminar on June 16, 2022 for prospective bidders in the proposed Pacific Wind Lease Sale 1 (PACW-1) for commercial wind energy leases offshore California. The seminar was open to the public and described the auction format, explained the auction rules, and demonstrated the auction process through meaningful examples. Seminar materials and recorded videos can be viewed at the link below. 

California Final Sale Notice

On October 18, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that BOEM would hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on December 6, 2022 for five areas off central and northern California. On October 21, 2022, BOEM published the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the PACW-1 lease sale. The FSN contains information pertaining to the areas available for commercial wind energy leasing on the OCS offshore California. The FSN details provisions and conditions of the leases, auction details, the lease form, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures, and lease execution.
Materials related to the FSN and PACW-1 lease sale are below.

Maps

California Offshore Wind Auction

BOEM held an offshore wind energy lease sale on Dec. 6-7, 2022, for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California.

The online auction was held online in a series of rounds and allowed qualified offshore wind developers to bid on five lease areas – the first-ever offered along the Pacific coastline – as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN).

The provisional winners and high bids for each of the lease areas are identified below and a Round-by-Round Summary is now available.

Materials relevant to the lease sale can be found on the History tab at the top of this page.

California Offshore Wind Auction

BOEM held an offshore wind energy lease sale on Dec. 6-7, 2022, for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California. The lease sale drew competitive winning bids from five companies totaling over $757 million.

The online auction was held online in a series of rounds and allowed qualified offshore wind developers to bid on five lease areas – the first-ever offered along the Pacific coastline – as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice (FSN).

Winners and high bids for each of the lease areas and a Round-by-Round Summary are identified below.

Resources

California related news releases and Notes to Stakeholders can be found in the BOEM Newsroom.  In the search bar, type the name of the state and/or select year of announcement.