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Floating wind turbines could soon dot Oregon's south coast

Salem Statesman Journal|Tracy Loew|September 23, 2022
OregonOffshore Wind

Floating wind farms off the Oregon coast could create as many as 100,000 jobs and help the state meet its clean energy targets, the Oregon Department of Energy told a legislative committee Thursday. But deployment faces challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and potential impacts on fishing, recreation and tourism, and marine habitats, officials said.  


Floating wind farms off the Oregon coast could create as many as 100,000 jobs and help the state meet its clean energy targets, the Oregon Department of Energy told a legislative committee Thursday.

But deployment faces challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and potential impacts on fishing, recreation and tourism, and marine habitats, officials said.  

Some of the best offshore wind speeds in the nation are in southern Oregon and northern California.

Last year, the Oregon Legislature directed the Department of Energy to prepare a report on the potential of integrating up to three gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy into Oregon’s electric grid by 2030.

That would likely translate into several hundred wind turbines tethered to the ocean floor, and is enough to power around 2 million homes.

The state Department of Energy released its report Sept. 15, the same day President Joe Biden announced an initiative to invest nearly $50 million to boost floating offshore wind turbine technology.

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Floating wind farms off the Oregon coast could create as many as 100,000 jobs and help the state meet its clean energy targets, the Oregon Department of Energy told a legislative committee Thursday.

But deployment faces challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and potential impacts on fishing, recreation and tourism, and marine habitats, officials said.  

Some of the best offshore wind speeds in the nation are in southern Oregon and northern California.

Last year, the Oregon Legislature directed the Department of Energy to prepare a report on the potential of integrating up to three gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy into Oregon’s electric grid by 2030.

That would likely translate into several hundred wind turbines tethered to the ocean floor, and is enough to power around 2 million homes.

The state Department of Energy released its report Sept. 15, the same day President Joe Biden announced an initiative to invest nearly $50 million to boost floating offshore wind turbine technology.

The report cites benefits that include improving the reliability of the state and regional power grid, reducing the amount of land needed for solar and onshore wind projects, and supporting job development, especially in coastal communities.

Challenges to developing offshore wind power include potential conflict with existing industries, and a lack of existing infrastructure.

The state would need to make substantial upgrades to a coastal deep-water port, and to the onshore coastal electric transmission grid, the report says.

In Oregon, the Port of Coos Bay has been identified as candidate for offshore wind deployment, Jason Sierman, senior policy analyst for the Department of Energy, told the committee.

Already, groups on the coast are gearing up to try to wield more power in planning for offshore wind power.

More than two dozen commercial and recreational fishing and processing groups recently formed a coalition, called Protect US Fishermen, to ensure responsible offshore floating wind development on the Pacific Coast.

Members include the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Newport Fishermen’s Wives, Oregon Trawl Commission and more.

"I understand that wind energy is coming to Oregon, and we are not explicitly against that development. But we are against trading good fishing jobs for new wind energy jobs," Heather Mann, executive director of the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, told the legislature last year. The cooperative, based out of Newport, is a member of the coalition.

Rogue Climate, a nonprofit group focusing on climate justice, has scheduled community conversations on floating offshore wind energy in North Bend and Coos Bay later this month and in October.

 

 

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.statesmanjournal.…

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