It's obvious that floating wind is appealing. Developers can't build fixed wind foundations if they are more than 60 meters deep. Strong and consistent winds can be found far off the coast.
Off Morro Bay and other potential California sites, the winds rise in the early evening but fall in the midday, in perfect sync with consumer demand.
The characteristics will help the grid operators draw more of their electricity from carbon-free sources through the evening, which will serve an increasingly crucial function as the California power sector moves off fossil fuels.
80% of the state's electricity will come from such resources by the end of the century. California will require all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emissions.
The emergence of a state-based manufacturing sector near ports that could supply turbine blades, towers, and other components is what Hochschild says California hopes will spur economic development. Over the next 25 years, tens of billions of dollars will be invested in offshore wind.
Companies that participate in the auction can earn credits by committing to invest in workforce training, supporting the development of domestic wind supply chains, and engaging with indigenous tribes and other underserved communities. The credits will be used to determine the winner.
California is pinning a lot of hope on an industry that doesn't exist anymore.
According to a Department of Energy report, only a few small demonstration projects have been developed so far. The Kincardine project is the biggest floating farm in the world. The report states that there are small projects in China, Japan, France, Norway, and Portugal.