The federal government has completed an environmental review for developing a wind project 20 miles off the coast of Humboldt Bay. That review found developing offshore wind will have no significant impact on the environment.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday released the final draft of its environmental assessment, which broadly examines how offshore wind activities in the roughly 207-square-mile Humboldt Wind Energy Area would affect the surroundings. Any specific project that is proposed in the future would still need to undergo its own environmental review.
Offshore wind development should help the Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s Community Energy Choice Program, which enters its fifth year this month, meet its goal of providing about 63,000 customers in the county with 100% local renewable energy by 2030, according to a news release from the energy authority.
“This fall, the federal government will auction off leases to developers who wish to explore the feasibility of wind energy projects 20 or so miles off Humboldt Bay, which could be operational by 2030,” the energy authority’s executive director Matthew Marshall said in a statement. “Offshore wind will be a critical tool in combating climate change while creating skilled jobs and driving economic development up and down the California coast. RCEA will continue to work with our community, the local fishing industry, tribes, local labor organizations, and other stakeholders to maximize offshore wind’s benefits for our community.”