In May of 2018, research teams from California Polytechnic State University published a report outlining the potential economic and fiscal impacts of a floating offshore wind project near Morro Bay. When the project was first propose by Trident Wind, now a part of the joint venture that makes up Castle Wind, it was anticipated to be around 765 megawatts in size. Today, the project plans have been updated and outline a project estimated to be 1,000 megawatts in size, meaning the economic and fiscal impacts of the project may be even greater than the 2018 study predicted.
The current Castle Wind Offshore project is planned to be located on the Outer Continental Shelf, more than 30 miles from the California coastline in federally managed waters of the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing a lease auction for the project site in 2020. Once the site lease is awarded, updated project plans will become available.
While the final size and scale of the project still have yet to be determined, the overall findings of the study are important to show the tangible local economic benefits that the development and operation of a floating offshore wind project will have on the Central Coast – a region that has experienced severe economic impacts associated with the recent closure of the Morro Bay Power Plant and the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
Read the study here.