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Equinor Names California Floating Offshore Wind Project

Atlas Wind is the official name of the floating offshore wind project that Equinor plans to build off the coast of California, the developer announced on 29 November.

“Atlas is a symbol of strength and fortitude, and most importantly perseverance, as we bring tested, world-class technology to California’s Central Coast,” said Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas.

Equinor was announced as one of the winners of the first US offshore wind lease sale on the Pacific coast and the first-ever to procure floating wind capacity in the US in December 2022.

The lease area, which lies 60 miles (approximately 97 kilometres) from Morro Bay, has the capacity to provide over 2 GW of renewable energy, enough to power 1.7 million California homes once complete.

In 2024, marine and aerial wildlife surveying in the lease area will begin, providing the data necessary to guide understanding of the seabed floor and marine habitats, Equinor said.


California is poised to become a growing force in the US energy transition with a nation-leading target of 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2045, according to the Norwegian company.

Approximately two-thirds of the United States’ offshore wind energy potential lies in deep coastal waters, like the Pacific Ocean, where water depths reach 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) or more. Water depths of this magnitude are too deep for traditional bottom fixed foundations and instead require floating offshore wind technology, said Equinor.

The US is a key market for Equinor’s growing offshore wind portfolio, according to the firm.

On the East Coast, through a joint venture with BP, Equinor is developing Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. Upon completion, the projects will provide 3.3 GW of offshore wind energy to New York, or enough to power two million homes.  


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