California’s First Floating Wind Farm Could Be in State Waters as Project Near Space Force Base Progresses

Floventis Energy’s 60 MW floating wind proposal in California’s state waters near Vandenberg Space Force Base continues moving through the state permitting system(s), with the California State Lands Commission and the US Department of the Air Force now working on a joint environmental impact report/statement (EIR/EIS) for the demonstration project.

CADEMO / Floventis Energy

A recent update on the State Lands Commission’s website says the agencies are in the early stages of the EIR/EIS process and anticipate releasing the Notice of Preparation/Notice of Intent to begin the public scoping process in the summer of 2024.

Floventis Energy, a joint venture between Cierco and SBM Offshore, submitted an application for the project in 2019.

The project, named CADEMO, is planned to incorporate different floating wind foundations across four wind turbines with a nominal capacity of between 12 MW and 15 MW each.

CADEMO will introduce floating wind foundations specially designed to address the deep waters off the coast of California, according to the developer, which plans to use the Port of San Francisco and the Port of Los Angeles for the construction of the floating foundations and the assembly of the floating wind turbines.

The project is expected to be operational in late 2027, years before the projects procured in the first lease sale for offshore wind areas in California federal waters.

In July last year, Floventis Energy reached an agreement with the US Department of Defense (DoD) that enables the floating wind farm to operate in proximity to Vandenberg Space Force Base’s launch activities.

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In November 2023, the developer and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) which creates a collaborative process to develop protocols and programmes for CADEMO to demonstrate potential pathways for tribal cultural and environmental engagement with offshore wind power development in California, according to Floventis.

Under the agreement, CADEMO will consult closely with the Tribe in the planning and execution of state and federal environmental reviews, which are now underway.

The developer and the Tribe will also work with the Tri-Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and California Community Colleges to create apprenticeship programmes, courses, certificates, and two-year degree programs for topics such as tribal collaborative management of offshore resources, environmental review survey work, and offshore wind technicians.

Furthermore, CADEMO will support a new non-profit research institute established and operated by the Tribe to develop tribal oceanographic expertise and best practices for environmental co-management of offshore and littoral resources and the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

The agreement also comprises the provision for the Tribe to rename the CADEMO project with a name of the Tribe’s choosing.


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