Castle Wind Offshore

Castle Wind LLC has initiated development of a commercial scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Pt. Estero, California with a grid connection in Morro Bay.

The project is planned for a 1,000 MW net capacity.  The final wind farm net capacity will be determined at a later date and will depend on the offshore site area, access to transmission capacity and market off-take demand.

Project Overview

Proposed Project Location

Substation Connection at Morro Bay

Castle Wind Offshore (CWO) will consist of approximately 100 floating offshore wind systems (FOWS) that will harvest the vast offshore wind resources for the benefit of the California electric consumers.  Each FOWS will consist of a commercially available floating support structure and a large offshore wind turbine generator (OWTG) with a nameplate capacity greater than 8MW.  Each FOWS is moored to the ocean floor using conventional properly sized, vertical load, drag imbedded, or torpedo anchors, a technology that requires no piling and is well suited for deep and variable seabed conditions. The installation is completely reversible, i.e., no permanent infrastructure is left on the sea bed upon decommissioning and performed with minimal acoustic disturbances.  Individual FOWS are electrically interconnected with inter-array cables to form an offshore wind farm.

The exact number of FOWS will be defined at a later date as it will depend on a) confirmation of the available capacity in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) transmission lines, and b) the nameplate capacity of the selected OWTG.  The competitive selection of the floating support structure supplier will be conducted in parallel with the development of the Site Assessment Plan; while competitive selection of the OWTG supplier will be conducted during Construction and Operation Plan development.

The CWO wind farm is planned to be located over 30 miles offshore, taking advantage of a consistent wind resource with an average speed of 8.5 meters/sec.  The proposed site location is in a vicinity of the ODAS buoy 46028.  Based on over 27 years of data from the buoy, the expected energy generation from the offshore resources could surpass 50% capacity factors.  The CWO site is planned to be located in a 2,665 – 3,608 feet (800-1,100 meters, or 1,464 – 2,013 fathoms) water depth approximately. Each FOWS is spaced approximately 3,300 feet (1,000 meters, or 0.54 nmi) apart to reduce, or eliminate, the wind shadow effects.  Energy produced from all FOWSs is brought to an offshore, floating substation and delivered to shore via one or more (for redundancy purposes) export cable(s) using the same cable route and connecting to the Morro Bay substation.

Why Offshore Wind is Right for California

California has adopted aggressive RPS goals in the hopes of reaching 100% emissions-free energy by 2045. This can be done, but offshore wind (OSW) must be a part of the solution.

Here’s why:



California has significant offshore wind resources. Some estimates up to 15 GW of offshore wind capacity are potentially available of California’s shores.


System values

A production profile which offsets the duck curve, and the ability to connect to existing transmission infrastructure.


Market values

OSW offers significant economic value potential that is starting to be recognized.


NREL’s Offshore Wind Resource assessment shows that California has up to 15 GW of offshore wind capacity potentially available (Musial et al. 2016).

Offshore wind could provide up to 8 GW of a valued diversity component to California’s supply portfolio, which would double existing dispatchable renewable energy resources.

Unfortunately, the availability of out-of-state renewable generation is limited by transmission constraints, but offshore wind in California also provides system benefits that would alleviate some transmission constraints.

Market Values

Currently, the state’s electricity generation mix is approximately 25% renewable, 10% nuclear, and 10% hydroelectric, or about 45% zero-carbon.

Reaching the 2045 zero emissions goal as laid out in SB 100 — will require a wide range of changes, including reducing reliance on natural gas in the power sector. However, we cannot fully remove our dependence on gas power plants until we have replaced all the energy needed with renewable.

To achieve a 100% zero-carbon electricity system, affordable, zero-carbon and long-duration dispatchable resources are necessary.

Electricity Generation by Fuel Type

This modeling suggests that approximately 95% zero-carbon generation and 5% gas generation is needed by 2050.

Project Timeline

Jan 14, 2016

Trident Winds submits an Unsolicited Lease Request to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

May 12, 2016

Governor Jerry Brown requests BOEM to form an Intergovernmental Task Force.

Aug 20, 2016

BOEM publishes Request For Interest (RFI) in the Federal Register, soliciting expressions of interest and comments.

Sep 19, 2016

BOEM receives 13 comments from various stakeholders and an Expression of a Competitive interest.

Oct 13, 2016

BOEM & the California Energy Commission (CEC) hold the first Intergovernmental Task Force meeting and announce the competitive leasing process auction, initiates data collection to identify Wind Energy Areas.

May 2017

Navy publishes map that shows Central California having conflicts with Department of Defense (DoD) missions.

Mar 30, 2018

EnBW and Trident Winds form joint venture, Castle Wind LLC, for the development, construction and operation of the project.

April 15, 2018

Castle Wind submits Grid Interconnection Request to CAISO.

June 2018

Castle Wind works closely with the DoD on resolving military conflicts

Oct 6, 2018

Castle Wind signs a Mutual Benefits Agreement with two local commercial fishermen’s organizations

Sep 17, 2018

BOEM holds second Intergovernmental Task Force meeting.

Oct 19, 2018

BOEM published the Call for Information and Nominations.

Nov 29, 2018

Castle Wind signs a Community Benefits Agreement with the City of Morro Bay.

January 2019

Castle Wind submits nomination for the Morro Bay Call Area in response to BOEM’s Call.

April 2019

Local and regional stakeholders meet with the DoD to try to further identify potential wind energy areas near the Central Coast that are compatible with military testing and training operations

The Technology

All three top turbine suppliers – GE, Siemens and MHI-Vestas have commercially available offshore wind turbine generators (OWTGs) larger than 8 MW, with GE leading the industry with a 12 MW turbine.  A number of floating support structures are expected to be available for commercial use at the time of the project construction, estimated to be in the 2025 to 2027 time-frame.

Job Opportunities

A job with excellent prospects – technicians at EnBW’s offshore windfarm

The mayor and harbour master tell how the offshore windfarm EnBW Baltic 1 generates jobs and income for their community. And of their pride that green electricity is generated just on their doorstep.

Who we are

Castle Wind LLC was established by companies with decades of experience in the electric power industry, project development, offshore wind projects operation and maintenance, and project financing.