Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Castle Wind LLC — a joint venture between Trident Winds Inc. and EnBW North America — have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enter into future, long-term PPA for about 1,000 MW of renewable energy. The clean power will come from Castle Wind Offshore, a floating offshore wind project currently being planned off the Central California coast.
The MOU recognizes that offshore wind offers a long-term energy supply solution that complements MBCP’s potential energy needs. The proposed project is planned to be grid-connected at the Morro Bay substation in Morro Bay, California — which is a great example of leveraging existing infrastructure for renewable deployment.
“While the project is still several years away, we know that offshore wind is poised to play an integral role in California’s electricity portfolio, which will help the State meet its aggressive climate goals at the least cost,” said Alla Weinstein, CEO of Castle Wind. “This MOU is a statement of commitment by MBCP to use 100% renewables and their desire to secure a supply of clean energy that closely meets their demand profile.”
In 2018, Castle Wind executed a community benefits agreement with the City of Morro Bay and a mutual benefits agreement with the local fishermen organizations to ensure the project would address the needs of the local community. As MBCP expands its electric service to the residents and businesses in San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay in early 2020 and potentially the rest of San Luis Obispo County in 2021, this project has strategic potential and importance for locally generated renewable energy and future job creation.
“Monterey Bay Community Power is committed to serving our local communities with cleaner energy,” said MBCP CEO, Tom Habashi. “In addition to creating new, local renewable infrastructure and jobs, we recognize the tremendous potential benefits of economically priced offshore renewable energy, including offshore wind’s primary system value coming from its ability to serve the region’s evening load when energy prices and carbon emissions are highest.”
The Castle Wind Offshore project is planned to be located on the Outer Continental Shelf, more than 30 miles from the California coastline in federally managed waters of the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing a lease auction for the project site in 2020. If awarded the lease, Castle Wind anticipates producing 1,000 MW of renewable energy around 2025.