Assemblymember David Chiu pushes a bill that promises to jumpstart wind energy production in California. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

Assemblymember David Chiu pushes a bill that promises to jumpstart wind energy production in California. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

California inches toward goals for offshore wind energy production

A bill that promises to jumpstart wind energy production in California has come one step closer to becoming law.

Authored by David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Assembly Bill 525 would direct state agencies to set statewide goals for offshore wind production and develop a strategic plan for California to achieve large-scale renewable wind energy by 2045.

The bill was approved by the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, according to a news release issued Monday by Chiu’s office. The bill now moves on to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on July 13.

“The signs of the climate crisis are all around us,” said Chiu. “With offshore wind, we have an opportunity to counter the threat of climate change, meet our clean energy goals, and create thousands of new good-paying jobs in the process.”

He said offshore wind construction could provide 14,000 good-paying jobs and save utility customers $1 billion between now and 2040.

Chiu said having a wind energy strategy is key to the state meeting its goal of achieving a carbon-free electric system by 2045, as stipulated by SB 100 approved in 2018.

Chiu’s bill would create a strategic plan to put offshore wind in place along the California coast, mapping near-term infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate offshore wind facilities.

Chiu said the research indicates the prime location for wind turbines is in federal waters 20-30 miles offshore, which is also far enough to not be visible from the coast.

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