The federal government wants to open 399 square miles of the Pacific Ocean along California’s Central Coast to floating offshore wind turbine development.
The proposed wind energy farm would be located about 20 miles off the shores of San Simeon and Cambria, northwest of Morro Bay, and it may generate up to three gigawatts of electricity at peak production.
That’s enough electricity to power about a million homes with non-emissions producing electricity.
The process to bring this massive offshore wind farm to the Central Coast has been in the works since 2016, but has only recently picked up steam. A lease sale auction may happen as soon as fall 2022.
So what exactly does this mean for our community in San Luis Obispo County? How will our coastline, ocean, economy, jobs and infrastructure be impacted?
The Tribune will hold a Live Q&A with a panel of experts to discuss this issue at Noon on Nov. 19.
- Salud Carbajal, Central Coast Congressman
- Doug Boren, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Pacific regional director
- Karen Douglas, California Energy Commissioner
- Melissa James, REACH CEO
- Ben Ruttenberg, Cal Poly associate professor and director of the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences
We are taking questions from the audience. RSVP now and ask the panel a question.
What: Offshore wind energy on California’s Central Coast. What you need to know | Live Q&A
When: Noon, Nov. 19
Doug Boren is the regional director for BOEM’s Pacific Office which is responsible for managing the development of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. outer continental shelf offshore California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.
Salud Carbajal has represented California’s 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House since 2017. His district encompasses San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and a portion of Ventura County.
Melissa James has been president and CEO of REACH since it was formed as the Hourglass Project in 2019.
Karen Douglas was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 and was re-appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2012 and 2018.
Benjamin Ruttenberg is an associate professor in the Biological Sciences Department at California Polytechnic State University and the director of the university’s Center for Coastal Marine Sciences.
Mackenzie Shuman primarily writes about Cal Poly, SLO County education and the environment for The Tribune.
This story was originally published October 8, 2021 1:23 PM.