Lindsay Puckett Discusses Need to Streamline Permitting to Advance California Floating Offshore Wind Development


In a recent POWER magazine article, Lindsay Puckett offers her insights into steps California is taking to ease the process of developing floating offshore wind resources. Currently, a single project can require federal, state, and local jurisdictions to provide more than 20 permits or approvals.

In 2021, California adopted Assembly Bill 525, requiring the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind energy development in federal waters off the state’s coast. This plan will outline the path for wind energy facilities and related electricity and transmission infrastructure.

The CEC released a draft permitting roadmap in late 2022, followed in April 2023 by a staff report recommending that state agencies coordinate their permitting, by possible means of an interagency agreement spelling out roles, timeframes, and implementation, and using a single permit application checklist.

Environmental attorney Puckett points out that the CEC’s draft roadmap doesn’t address necessary upgrades at ports, waterfront facilities, or electric transmission lines beyond their initial onshore connection points. These aspects will be covered in the strategic plan.

Puckett concludes: “This is only a snapshot of evolving federal and state regulatory processes for offshore wind development that will need to be continually monitored. Given BOEM’s [Department of Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s] approximately 10-year lease, assessment, and permitting timeline, coordination among regulatory agencies will be crucial to minimizing project delay.”

You can read the full article here.

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