State Director, Environment California
State Director, Environment California
Labor, environmental and business groups applaud Newsom’s support of offshore wind and clean energy
Sacramento, Calif.— In a victory for clean energy, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 1373 (Garcia). This legislation authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to work with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to purchase offshore wind energy at scale through a mechanism called “central procurement.” Strong policy support and clear market signals such as central procurement are essential for a clean power like offshore wind that requires building on an enormous scale and upfront investment.
“With climate change wreaking havoc on California, it’s more clear than ever how important the goal of powering the state with 100% clean energy is. The development of aggressive offshore wind is critical to reaching that benchmark,” said Dan Jacobson, Senior Advisor for Environment California. “Making sure a market exists for this clean power will fast-track California’s ambitious clean energy plans, providing zero-emission power across the state.”
”This bill helps secure California’s climate leadership as a clean energy innovator,” said Katelyn Roedner Sutter, California State Director at Environmental Defense Fund. “By helping develop new clean power sources at the end of the day when solar generation declines and natural gas plants ramp up, central procurement will propel our progress towards building a 100 percent clean energy grid.”
Per AB 525, the California Energy Commission (CEC) set planning goals of adding up to five gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy to the state’s grid by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045 — enough to power 25 million homes and by far the most ambitious state target in the country. An offshore wind market could potentially save ratepayers $1 billion every year compared to alternative fuel sources.
From Molly Croll, ACP Pacific Offshore Wind Director, “California is closer today than we have ever been to launching the state’s first-ever offshore wind industry, and clean energy providers thank the Newsom Administration for its steady support for this incredibly promising, untapped source of 100% clean power. The Governor and Legislature have demonstrated their commitment to helping this new market get on its feet, and clean energy providers are ready to begin making the critical investments needed to make offshore wind a reality — putting people to work upgrading ports, building new transmission lines, and creating the supply chains that will make California a global leader in this new, infrastructure-based industry.”
“California is setting a course to be a global leader and hub for floating offshore wind,” said Adam Stern, Executive Director, Offshore Wind California, a trade group of offshore wind developers and technology companies. “Signing AB 1373 into law is an important milestone that underscores California’s commitment to go big on offshore wind to help meet its ambitious climate, clean-energy, and grid-reliability goals. We praise Governor Newsom and the State Assembly and Senate for their leadership in advancing this ground-breaking legislation. AB 1373 will provide a vital tool to help the Golden State invest at scale, build at scale, and procure at scale for the long lead-time renewable resources it needs to strengthen its clean-power portfolio and achieve its SB 100 goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.”
California’s initiative on clean energy policies has led to successful solar, geothermal and battery storage programs, offering up the most clean energy the state’s grid has ever seen. Last year’s federal lease sales off California’s coast yielded five successful bids whose projects could power 1.5 million homes by themselves. By establishing a centralized buyer for offshore wind energy, Gov. Newsom is sending a strong signal that California is ready for even more offshore wind development.
“With the signing of AB 1373, Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature have shown that California is committed to leading on floating offshore wind and achieving the Golden State’s goals for 100% renewables by 2045,” said Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Senior Director of Policy & Outreach for Business Network for Offshore Wind. “This new centralized procurement for offshore wind will provide the path forward and shows a real commitment to advancing our industry needs including port development, supply chain businesses across the state, workforce investment and training.”
Labor advocates have heralded the passage of AB 1373 as the beginning of a new clean energy economy for California. Creating an offshore wind market in California is estimated to bring 8,000 direct jobs annually, 9,000 jobs to upgrade port infrastructure, and thousands of other jobs that will support these massive construction projects. Assessments have predicted upwards of 800 jobs in Humboldt Bay alone, where an offshore wind port hub is under construction. Local labor leaders are already setting up apprenticeship and training programs that fast-track careers in offshore wind.
The California Energy Commission is expected to release its strategic plan on offshore wind development in the state as mandated by AB 525 this Fall.