RCEA Selects Consortium for Offshore Windfarm
The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) has selected a consortium of companies comprised of Principle Power, EDPR Offshore North America, Aker Solutions, H. T. Harvey & Associates, and Herrera Environmental Consultants to enter into a public-private partnership to pursue the development of an offshore wind energy project off the Northern California coast. The consortium was one of the six respondents to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued by the RCEA on 1 February, 2018.
“We have been very impressed and humbled by the respondents and the quality of the responses we received for this RFQ. Large development companies and energy players based in Europe and the US responded to the RFQ which helps confirm the attractiveness of Humboldt County as the potential starting point for an entire new industry,” says Mr Matthew Marshall, Executive Director of the RCEA. The consortium is excited with the opportunity presented by RCEA and pleased to bring proven technology, development expertise, and financial capabilities to the partnership, which will work toward a flagship project for the floating offshore wind industry in California and the US in general. Humboldt County has natural enabling advantages that make it a prospective stepping stone for the offshore wind energy industry on the West Coast of the US. The wind resource off the Humboldt County coast is the best off California with average wind speeds of more than ten meters per second, inducing expected high capacity performance from wind farms. The proposed project is a 100-150MW floating offshore windfarm planned to be located more than 32km off the coast of Eureka. The project will pave the way for offshore wind energy off the West Coast and may be the first project to unlock the extraordinary value of offshore wind energy for California.
The selected consortium features significant offshore wind lease application and permitting experience, a mature, cost-competitive and suitable floating wind technology for Humboldt County’s unique geography (Principle Power’s WindFloat technology), and a highly-capable team with the needed capacity to develop, finance, operate and build a supply chain to support this and future projects. RCEA and the selected consortium will be negotiating and finalising a partnership agreement in the coming weeks, working toward the goal of submitting a lease application later this spring. Humboldt County is marked by a strong ecosystem of local energy, environmental, and economic professionals who played a crucial role in the 15-member RFQ review committee along with local officials and public agencies. Input and guidance from local stakeholders will be critically important to the project and the overall development of the industry in California. With RCEA leading, the project partners will continue proactive community and stakeholder outreach to understand and address all the facets of developing a project of this kind to minimize any potential impacts and maximize local community benefits.
The project is expected to drive investment in local infrastructure at the Port of Humboldt Bay and other nearby onshore facilities. A strong collaboration with local stakeholders to identify and address needed infrastructure improvements will be led by the project partners. The upcoming offshore wind industry will also require skilled labour and create local jobs and workforce training, thus advantageously positioning Humboldt County as a leading hub for future offshore wind development throughout the West Coast.