A new legislative proposal seeks to create an offshore wind-power industry in California aimed at helping the state achieve its renewable energy goals.
AB 525, by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) sets the goal for California to produce 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind off the state’s coast by 2040, with a target of 3 gigawatts by 2030. The bill is co-sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and Environment California.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, California seeks out ways to restart and improve the state’s economy—with offshore wind offering a chance to create a high number of steady, well-paying jobs. Offshore wind production may create up to 14,000 jobs during the construction phase alone, in addition to another 3,000 operation and maintenance jobs. AB 525 includes labor provisions to ensure sustained, equitable wage and economic development benefits.
“The Building Trades in California have built the vast majority of the utility scale, solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and pumped storage making California a global leader in renewable energy,” said Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.
The bill requires state agencies to develop an implementation plan to identify sea space/wind areas to meet the 10 GW goal, create a permitting process, plan for port improvements and transmission upgrades, and to support the workforce needed to build the facilities.
Hunter claims that offshore wind will bring a “new, limitless and reliable energy source onto California’s grid.”