Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Floating wind power developer Castle Wind, a joint venture between Trident Winds and EnBW North America, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enter into a future, long-term power-purchase agreement for approximately 1 gigawatt of renewable energy.
The MoU is said to outline the mutual interests and intent of the two parties to enter into the future long-term PPA for the 1GW floating offshore wind project being planned off the Central California coast.
According to Castle Wind, the deal recognizes that offshore wind offers a long-term energy supply solution that complements MBCP’s potential energy needs.
The proposed project is planned to be grid-connected at the Morro Bay substation in Morro Bay, California which is a great example of leveraging existing infrastructure for renewable energy deployment.
In 2018, Castle Wind executed a community benefits agreement with the City of Morro Bay and a mutual benefits agreement with the local fishermen organizations to ensure the project would address the needs of the local community.
As MBCP expands its electric service to the residents and businesses in San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay in early 2020 and potentially the rest of San Luis Obispo County in 2021, this project has strategic potential and importance for locally generated renewable energy and future job creation.
“Castle Wind is pleased to be working with Monterey Bay Community Power on a Power Purchasing Agreement to deliver local clean energy from offshore wind,” said Alla Weinstein, CEO of Castle Wind.
“While the project is still several years away, we know that offshore wind is poised to play an integral role in California’s electricity portfolio, which will help the State meet its aggressive climate goals at the least cost. This MOU is a statement of commitment by MBCP to use 100% renewables and their desire to secure a supply of clean energy that closely meets their demand profile,” Weinstein added.
“Monterey Bay Community Power is committed to serving our local communities with cleaner energy,” said MBCP CEO, Tom Habashi. “In addition to creating new, local renewable infrastructure and jobs, we recognize the tremendous potential benefits of economically priced offshore renewable energy, including offshore wind’s primary system value coming from its ability to serve the region’s evening load when energy prices and carbon emissions are highest.”
The Castle Wind Offshore project is planned to be located on the Outer Continental Shelf, more than 30 miles from the California coastline in federally managed waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing a lease auction for the project site in 2020. If awarded the lease, Castle Wind anticipates producing 1,000 MW of renewable energy around 2025.