WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the release of the draft Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA) Environmental Assessment (EA) for public comment.
The draft EA analyzed potential impacts from future commercial leasing and related site characterization and assessment activities within the Morro Bay WEA, which is located approximately 20 miles off the central California coastline.
The Morro Bay WEA covers approximately 240,898 acres (376 square miles), which BOEM says could bring to the grid up to 3 GW of clean energy – enough to power more than 1 million homes, according to the agency.
The draft EA is said to consider potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects from issuing offshore wind energy leases and related site characterization and assessment activities within the Morro Bay WEA.
Site characterization activities include geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological and biological surveys needed to develop specific project proposals on those potential leases, the BOEM said. Site assessment activities could include installation and operation of meteorological buoys in the Morro Bay WEA, the agency added.
Before approving the construction of any offshore wind energy facility on a potential future lease in the Morro Bay WEA, BOEM says it will develop an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the specific environmental consequences of constructing and operating such a facility, in consultation with appropriate federal, state and local agencies and with participation by ocean users, stakeholders, and the public.