The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is close to opening up the coast for competitive bids for development. What is in store for Humboldt County? Matthew Marshall from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority joins Gang Green on the latest EcoNews Report to discuss.

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The EcoNews Report is a weekly environmental news roundup produced in Arcata, California by Environmental Protection Information Center, Northcoast Environmental Center, Friends of the Eel River, and Humboldt Baykeeper.

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It will cost more than $124 million to build a new multipurpose terminal in Humboldt Bay to support offshore wind energy, according to a preliminary cost estimate prepared for the Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
According to a staff report, it will take an estimated $40 million just to demolish the existing wharf and replace it with one strong enough to service the turbines, which weigh some 500 tons each. Dredging and earth filling efforts would run another estimated $7.3 million, in addition to $21 million in indirect construction costs and $8.8 million for upland improvements.
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The Biden Administration announced that the U.S. Departments of Interior and Defense have reached agreement on California sea-space and other issues, clearing the way to move ahead with development of the state’s multi-gigawatt (GW) offshore wind power potential on its Central and North coasts.
The announcement comes at a time when California Governor Gavin Newsom has earmarked $11 million to match U.S. Department of Transportation funding to build an offshore wind port at Humboldt Bay in Northern California.
The 1.6 GW of offshore wind farm development projected for Humboldt Bay is restricted by the lack of transmission infrastructure to deliver electricity.
However, wind farms off Humboldt Bay could expand if an offshore transmission line to the San Francisco Bay Area is built. It is estimated that an underwater transmission line system linking Humboldt Bay to the S.F. Bay Area would be over 250 miles long and cost upwards of $3.1 billion, according to a 2020 Humboldt State University report.
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A big announcement could see the North Coast open for wind farm bidding next year
After years of anticipation, the prospect of creating a floating wind farm off the coast of Humboldt County, generating clean energy and economic growth, took a significant step forward last week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom joined Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other federal officials to announce an agreement that will allow for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to offer a lease auction as early as next year for two stretches of California's coastal waters. The first is a 399-mile stretch on the Central Coast northwest of Morro Bay and the second an unspecified site about 20 miles off Humboldt Bay.
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Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) says the state must tap into offshore winds to meet its ambitious goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. 

Assembly Bill 525 would require state regulators to set a planning target of at least 10 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2040, with a short-term goal of 3 GW by 2030. To set the plan in motion, AB 525 also directs state agencies to begin securing necessary federal permits and planning for port upgrades and other infrastructure projects.

According to a recent study by various California regulators, by 2045 the state will need to be able to produce and store at least 140 GW of new renewable energy. It also estimates offshore wind could produce a maximum of 112 GW annually.

Meanwhile data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration pegs California’s 2018 total energy consumption as second highest in the nation, but fourth lowest per capita due to its climate and energy efficiency programs.
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