Equinor Unveils Name for California Floating Wind Project: Atlas Wind
Posted 30/11/2023 14:52
Equinor has officially named its floating offshore wind project off the coast of California as "Atlas Wind." The lease area, located 60 miles from Morro Bay, has the potential to generate over 2 GW of reliable, renewable power, sufficient to meet the energy needs of 1.7 million California homes once fully operational.
California is emerging as a significant player in the U.S. energy transition, boasting a leading target of 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2045. A considerable portion of the United States' offshore wind energy potential lies in deep coastal waters, particularly the Pacific Ocean, where water depths exceed 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). Such depths necessitate the use of floating offshore wind technology, an area in which Equinor has notable expertise.
Equinor is renowned for developing the world's first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland, and the largest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen, situated in the North Sea.
Besides the state's commitment to renewable energy, offshore wind in California complements solar energy by enhancing reliability during the evening when solar generation decreases and demand increases. Recent legislative developments, including the establishment of a centralized procurement system, are facilitating the development of affordable, diverse, and clean energy sources.
Martin Goff, Project Director for Atlas Wind at Equinor, highlighted California's abundant offshore wind resources and the support from state leadership for achieving offshore wind goals. Goff emphasized that beyond providing energy reliability, the project would create equitable opportunities through job creation and investments in the state. Equinor has already initiated engagement with local residents, the fishing industry, and tribal communities, committing to ongoing outreach efforts as the project progresses.
In 2024, marine and aerial wildlife surveying will commence in the lease area, providing crucial data for understanding the seabed floor and marine habitats. Equinor's team is actively collaborating with residents, the fishing industry, and tribal communities in preparation for survey activities related to the Atlas Wind project.
The United States holds strategic importance in Equinor's expanding offshore wind portfolio. On the East Coast, Equinor, in collaboration with bp, is developing the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects. Once completed, these projects will contribute 3.3 GW of offshore wind energy to New York, powering approximately 2 million homes.