The bill passed its first committee on Apr. 21 and will go a long way toward helping California

SACRAMENTO — Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) released the following statement regarding the May 25 announcement from the Biden Administration that an area off the Morro Bay coastline would be opened for offshore wind development:

“Today’s announcement is nothing less than a historic win for California, and will further cement the Central Coast as the Clean Energy Capital of the United States.

“For several years, we have worked diligently with federal, local, and state partners to position the Central Coast as the future hub of the Pacific Coast offshore wind industry. With today’s announcement, our region has set itself up to reap the major benefits of offshore wind: high-paying jobs for local residents, millions in additional tax revenue for local cities and counties, and more locally-produced clean energy.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

“I appreciate all the hard work our partners put in to get us to today, and cannot wait to see the construction process get started. Let’s get building!”

Cunningham represents the Central Coast in the California State Assembly. The Central Coast offers two potential tie-in spots to get the power generated offshore onto the electric grid: one at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and another at the Morro Bay Power Plant. Diablo Canyon, which generates nearly 10 percent of the state’s energy, is slated to close in 2025.

Cunningham is also a joint author of AB 525, which would require the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent Systems Operator to draft plans for the procurement of offshore wind power.

On Apr. 21 the Offshore Winds bill passed its first committee. AB 525, which would formalize the state’s commitment to developing offshore wind projects in California, passed out of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy without a no vote.

Cunningham made the following statement in April, “California needs to develop offshore wind projects if it is going to meet its ambitious climate goals – and the Central Coast has the most to gain if we’re able to formalize the state’s commitment to this emerging technology. With the imminent closure of Diablo Canyon, our region needs to identify ways to boost our local economy, create more high-paying jobs and expand our local tax base. Offshore wind would not only cement the Central Coast’s status as a net energy exporter, but it would also create thousands of local jobs and provide local government with tax revenue to fund critical public services.”

Under current law, the state must procure 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 with a goal of procuring 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2045. The state currently procures 55 percent of its energy from non-carbon emitting sources. However, the state has no viable plan to reach its 60 percent mandate after Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant goes offline in 2025. The development of offshore wind power will help the state meet its renewable energy goals and generate thousands of high-paying jobs across the state.