Cunningham’s offshore wind bill passes assembly
State currently procures 55-percent of its energy from non-carbon emitting sources
–On Thursday, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that his bill to formalize the state’s commitment to developing offshore wind projects in California passed the State Assembly.
Specifically, AB 525 would require the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent Systems Operator to develop a strategic plan for an emerging California offshore wind industry. It would also require the California Energy Commission to set specific procurement targets for 2030 and 2045.
“Meeting California’s ambitious climate goals requires us to think of outside the box as to how we’re going to power our state,” said Cunningham. “AB 525 provides California with a unique opportunity to spearhead a new offshore wind technology, create high-paying jobs, and produce the electrons we need to keep the lights on.
“I appreciate my colleagues’ support for this important bill, and will continue to work on policies that create local jobs and establish the Central Coast as the Clean Energy Capital of the United States.”
Under current law, the state must procure 60-percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 with a goal of procuring 100-percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2045. The state currently procures 55-percent of its energy from non-carbon emitting sources. However, the state has no viable plan to reach its 60-percent mandate after Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant goes offline in 2025.
The development of offshore wind power will help the state meet its renewable energy goals and generate thousands of high-paying jobs across the state. Earlier this week, the Biden Administration announced that they would be opening up two areas of coastline for offshore wind development: a call area off the Central Coast, and a call area off the Humboldt coast. If fully built-out, the two already-approved call areas could generate 4,600 gigawatts annually, enough to power 1.6 million homes.
AB 525 is jointly authored with Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale). It is co-authored by a bipartisan group of 16 assembly members and senators.
Related story: Agreement reached on offshore wind project near Morro Bay