Trident Winds Offshore Wind Energy Project

This site serves as a repository for information related to the proposed project by Trident Winds, and offshore wind development company that is seeking to build a utility scale, deep water, anchored wind project on the central coast of California (approximately 34 miles offshore).

Basic Background: The Morro Bay Power Plant was was a major, 650-megawatt powerplant closed in January 2013 by private company Dynegy, Inc. Closure of this plant created significant negative economic impacts for Morro Bay, including loss of revenues to pay for public services, as well as job losses and visual detriments due to the large scale of the plant.

The City owns and controls a cooling water outfall structure previously utilized by the Morro Bay Power Plant, which could be utilized to connect other energy projects to the PG&E electric substation located adjacent to the power plant. This substation provides a crucial interconnection to the high-voltage transmission system that runs through the state.

In 2015, Trident Winds approached the City regarding the off-shore wind energy project, seeking cooperation on potential re-use of the outfall. This project would involve the placement of wind turbines at least 34 miles off shore, and would then connect to the City-owned outfall to hook to the electric grid.

At this time, nothing has been permitted and the project is still in initial planning and outreach phases. A Memorandum of Cooperation was approved by the City Council on October 13, 2015, outlining the potential use of the outfall and requests from the City for Trident Winds to engage in significant public outreach on the project. This project will likely be years in the making.

Find below information about the project, posted as it is received.

December 2016 Update

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released a public-friendly overview of the bureau's renewable energy authority.  The Citizen's Guide to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Renewable Energy Authorization Process outlines BOEM's process for overseeing renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf and highlights public participation opportunities in an easy-to-follow narrative and flow chart format. 

  • Citizen's Guide: To the Renewable Energy Authorization Process (BOEM): CLICK HERE
March 2016 Update
In January 2016 Trident submitted an unsolicited lease application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the proposed wind farm site ~33 miles off the Morro Bay coast. In March 2016 BOEM deemed the request complete. Next, BOEM will issue a Federal Register Notice to determine if there is competitive interest in the proposed lease area.

August 2016 Update
In August 2016 BOEM issued a Request for Interest in a lease area requested by Trident Winds, LLC for its proposed 765 megawatt (MW) floating wind energy project off Morro Bay. The primary purpose of this announcement is for BOEM to determine if there are any other parties interested in leasing the proposed part of the ocean under BOEM control.  Should other entities submit a lease application, BOEM will proceed with a “competitive” leasing process.  Should no other parties demonstrate interest, BOEM will continue the process to issue a lease to Trident Winds on a non-competitive basis. BOEM is also accepting public comment, as noted in the below news release. The lease application and public comment period is open for 30 days and ends on Sep 15th, 2016.

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