Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) is moving into the U.S. wind-energy market by establishing a regional subsidiary, EnBW North America, and forming a joint venture with Seattle’s Trident Winds to develop an offshore-wind project off the coast of Central California.
The initial focus of the joint venture is to obtain a site lease from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and secure the grid connection, which became available following the shutdown of the Morro Bay power plant, according to company reports.
“Trident Winds welcomes the project-development and the operational expertise of EnBW to bring the proposed Morro Bay project to a reality. Successful projects require local knowledge, close interaction with stakeholders, detailed knowledge of permitting requirements, and extensive experience in offshore-wind project design, construction, and operation. The newly created joint venture brings all these elements together,” said Alla Weinstein, founder and CEO of Trident Winds.
In 2015, the Department of Energy published a nationwide wind study that estimates 22 GW of wind-energy deployment by 2030 and 86 GW by 2050. At the same time, the states of Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, and New Jersey have established specific targets for offshore wind development; according to targets that have already been released, up to 8 GW of offshore wind should be in operation by 2030.
“We are pleased to have Trident Winds at our side, a competent and experienced partner with whom we intend to advance the Morro Bay project along the project-development timeline,” said Dirk Güsewell, head of generation portfolio development at EnBW. “Offshore wind development on the West Coast of the United States is still at an early stage. The state of California, which is aligned with our home market of Baden-Württemberg through a 2015 joint commitment to climate protection, renewable energy, and sustainable mobility, has some of the most ambitious climate and renewable-energy goals in the country. Hence, offshore wind is positioned to play an important role in California over the next decade. Together with our partner Trident Winds, we want to be actively involved from the start.”