Germany’s EnBW has formed a joint venture with Trident Winds to develop an offshore wind farm in California, USA.
The two companies have drawn up plans to develop Morro Bay, an up to 1 GW floating offshore wind farm. They will initially focus on obtaining a site lease from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and on securing a gird connection.
The project is EnBW’s first foray into the North American offshore wind market, and would be the first floating wind farm in the region. “EnBW will have a direct presence in this promising market to capture opportunities and to further build up EnBW’s offshore project portfolio,” said Dirk Güsewell, Head of Generation Portfolio Development at EnBW.
Morro Bay would have a capacity of 650-1000 MW and connect to the grid at Morrow Bay in central California. Grid capacity is available at Morrow Bay because of the recent closure of an existing power plant, EnBW said.
It added that although offshore wind was at an early stage of development on the west coast of America, California’s ambitious climate protection goals mean that offshore wind would play an important role in the state over the next decade.
There is currently one operational offshore wind farm in the USA, while several US states on the east coast have set offshore wind development targets. The US Department of Energy reported in 2015 that up to 22 GW of offshore wind energy capacity could be developed in the country by 2030, and 86 GW by 2050.