California Activities

What's New?

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 can be viewed from this page and recorded videos from the seminar will be posted soon: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/california-auction-seminar

BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting: The 5th meeting of the BOEM California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force was held on Friday, June 3rd, 2022. This half-day virtual meeting provided updates on offshore wind energy activities, information and discussion opportunities on the California Proposed Sale Notice, and next steps in the BOEM authorization process. Meeting materials can be viewed from this page: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/california-2022-task-force-meeting-five

Press release: Biden-Harris Administration Proposes First-Ever California Offshore Wind Lease Sale

Press release: BOEM Completes National Environmental Policy Act Review of Offshore Wind Leasing in Northern California

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) provides 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 includes up to five lease areas within the two Wind Energy Areas (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 this announcement are below.

How to Comment 

The 60-day public comment period for the PSN is now open through 8:59 p.m. PT on Monday, August 1, 2022. Prospective bidders who want to participate in the California lease sale and who have not received confirmation from BOEM that they are qualified to participate in the sale must submit qualification materials no later than August 1, 2022 and follow the directions in the PSN Federal Register Notice. BOEM does not consider anonymous comments. Please include your name and address as part of your submittal. All comments submitted will be made part of the public record and will be posted publicly without change.

Public comments can be submitted in one of the following ways:

  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ . In the search box on web page, enter BOEM-2022-0017 and click “search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments.
     
  2. Mail comments labeled “Comments on California PSN” to the address listed below.

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
    Pacific Regional Office
    Mail Stop CM 102
    760 Paseo Camarillo (Suite 102)
    Camarillo, California 93010-6002

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
    • California Offshore Wind Energy Planning Outreach Summary Report (2018) and Addendum (2021): BOEM and the State of California continue to work together with the public, Tribal governments, and stakeholders to identify and collect relevant data and information on existing ocean resources and uses to inform decision-making for offshore wind leasing off California.

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.

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). 

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.

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.

2018 Call Maps

GIS/Shape Files for Mapping 

On August 18, 2016, BOEM published a Request for Interest in California Offshore Wind in response to an unsolicited lease request.

Simulations of Potential Visual Impacts

California Visual Simulations - In response to stakeholder interest regarding visual impacts from potential future renewable energy development within the California Wind Energy Areas, BOEM undertook a project to develop daytime and nighttime photomontages to simulate what turbines might look like if these lease areas were fully developed.

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.