Recently, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) visited Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, joined by Assemblymembers Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) and Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood), to attend an offshore wind conference, see firsthand a wind power project and visit a workforce development facility.
California’s climate goals include 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and 25,000 megawatts by 2045 in order to successfully transition to 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.
“We as state legislators have a critical and essential role in fostering the offshore wind market in California by developing policies that support procurement and development, investment in ports and supply chains, and strategies and policies for maximizing local economic development,” said Wood. “We wanted to visit Massachusetts and attend this conference to learn what needs to be done and how to do it successfully. California has a number of key stakeholders and we need to make sure we are all rowing in the same direction, with the wind behind us, so to speak, avoiding any headwinds.”
Assemblymembers Wood, Addis and Zbur visited the New Bedford FOSS Marine Terminal, the National Offshore Wind Institute of Bristol Community College and spoke extensively with current offshore wind developers during the conference.
As one of the first steps this year, the state legislature passed AB 1373. One of the many things this bill will do includes the governor’s proposal for creating a central procurement entity.
This will help assure wind farm developers that their capital investments will result in a market for their offshore wind power.
“The North Coast is one of the areas identified for offshore wind and when done right, will greatly benefit the community and its residents,” said Wood. “Creating an inclusive, local workforce for offshore wind is very important to me and the district I represent, and am eager to work on this with our local partners in higher education like Cal Poly Humboldt and College of the Redwoods, local tribal leadership, as well as labor unions in this regard.”
“Together, we can make sure that offshore wind can be a significant and successful part of reaching California’s climate goals and energy demands by bringing clean power to the entire state,” said Wood.