California community choice aggregator (CCA) Monterey Bay Community Power has signed a memorandum of understanding to explore buying the power from a 1,000-megawatt floating offshore wind farm.
It’s an early, if no-stakes, claim to what could be a massive offshore wind opportunity set to open via federal offshore lease auction next year, assuming floating wind turbine technology can meet the tests of wind, wave and California’s energy markets.
This week’s MOU, which is not a binding contract, calls for a long-term power purchase agreement between Monterey Bay Community Power and Castle Wind LLC, a joint venture of EnBW North America and Trident Winds Inc. The power is to be delvered by 2025 from the Castle Wind Offshore project, which would see around 100 wind turbines held upright by floating substructures anchored to the ocean floor 30 miles off California’s Central Coast.
It’s the most public step yet by one of the more than a dozen developers that are reportedly eyeing California’s offshore wind potential, including Avangrid Renewables, EDF, EDP, E.ON and Equinor. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is planning to hold an auction in 2020 for leases off California’s coastline.