Planned Offshore Wind Turbines for California

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California has just taken the first step in creating an offshore wind farm. Five energy companies just won the bid to lease 583 square miles off the coast of Humboldt County and near Morro Bay.

An illustration shows the three types of floating wind turbines, some of which are already in use in other parts of the world like Scotland and China. It’s all a part of an ambitious plan to emit zero carbon for electricity production within the next 25 years.

Rebecca Barthelmie, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, says, "Our plan, of course, is to move towards net zero by 2050. So, we’ve got quite a long way to go because fossil fuels still dominate our electricity production. But on the other hand, we can ramp these productions up fairly quickly. So, by 2030, if we meet the goals that the administration has set—of having 30 gigawatts there — we’ll only have a few percent of electricity coming from offshore wind. But if we get to 86 gigawatts, then we’ll be at 7% of our electricity coming from offshore wind. And that is a very significant contribution when you count it with the other sources of sustainable electricity that will be developed."

Construction is still about 5-6 years away to start building hundreds of offshore wind turbines, which will power 1.5 million homes.

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