California Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Denmark on Offshore Wind

The California Energy Commission and the country of Denmark have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on offshore wind.

The MOU, signed on April 30, will serve as a valuable resource for California which is in the early stages of exploring offshore wind. The Energy Commission and the country of Scotland signed a similar MOU in 2017.

Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas and Danish Consul General Katrine Paaby Joensen signed the MOU, which will help California get data and information from Denmark, which has a decades-long experience with offshore wind facilities.

“As home to the first offshore wind farm in the world, Denmark is at the forefront of this development with more than 25 years of experience in developing this great source of renewable, carbon-free energy,” said Douglas.

Denmark was the first country to erect offshore wind turbines, beginning with the 11-turbine Vindeby wind farm which was operational in 1991. The country has a goal of obtaining 50 percent of its energy from wind by 2020. As of January 2016, Denmark had nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) of operational offshore wind and 950 MW of permitted projects.

California sees offshore wind as a potential resource in sourcing 50 percent of its electric energy from renewables by 2030.

The Energy Commission is currently partnering with state agencies and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on exploring the potential for wind generating facilities off the California coast. BOEM is the lead agency in offshore wind with federal jurisdiction starting three miles from state shorelines.

Outreach efforts for offshore wind began on the Central Coast and have expanded to the North Coast region.

To date, BOEM and California have held approximately 50 outreach meetings with tribes, academics, fishing community, environmentalists, offshore wind developers, military, and state and local elected officials to discuss offshore wind.

California is one of 13 states exploring the potential of developing offshore wind facilities. The first offshore wind project in the United States was the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, which came online in 2017.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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