Californian Port Partners with Crowley to Develop Floating Offshore Wind Terminal

Crowley has entered into an agreement with the Port of Humboldt Bay to exclusively negotiate to be the developer and operator of a terminal to serve as California’s first hub for offshore wind.

The company, through its business unit dedicated to wind energy, Crowley Wind Services, will enter into negotiations with the port to lease and serve as the port’s developer of the Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind Heavy Lift Marine Terminal.

Services at the terminal will support the manufacturing, installation and operation of floating offshore wind platforms, use of large heavy cargo vessels and providing crewing and marshalling services in the Pacific waters.

The Port of Humboldt Bay developed a conceptual master plan for the site after receiving a grant from the Humboldt County Headwaters Fund in 2021.

Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District

Following this, the port secured a USD 10.45 million grant from the California Energy Commission to conduct technical studies, preliminary design, and pre-permitting activities.

The Port of Humboldt Bay anticipates completing permitting and design in mid-2024, according to Crowley.

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The port’s agreement with the company focuses on a 98-acre Phase I of the master plan, with options to expand on adjoining land in additional phases. 

Humboldt Bay will mark Crowley’s second dedicated US wind service terminal project as design and engineering are underway in Salem, Massachusetts, for the Crowley terminal as part of a public-private partnership that will support offshore wind projects in New England, the company said.

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Waters off the coast of Humboldt County in California will be part of the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on the US West Coast and the first-ever lease sale to support floating wind projects.

The lease sale is scheduled to to be held on 6 December, with more than 40 developers qualifying over the past several months as potential bidders.

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The Humboldt offshore wind areas are expected to accommodate 1.6 GW of floating wind capacity and the Morro Bay areas, which will also be offered in the upcoming federal lease sale, could bring 3 GW of capacity.

The State of California has set a goal to install up to 5 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 and up to 25 GW by 2045.

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In September, the Biden-Harris Administration, which set the 2030 offshore wind target to 30 GW last year, announced a target for the US to install 15 GW of floating wind capacity by 2035.

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Photo: Crowley