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Tue May 25, 2021, 10:56 PM

Biden opens California coast to offshore wind turbines

Source: San Jose Mercury News

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced plans to open areas of the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast to offshore wind development for the first time, supporting the construction of hundreds of large wind turbines to expand renewable energy and reduce the impacts of climate change.

The announcement, endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, moves forward the prospect for wind farms in two areas about 20 miles off the coast of Morro Bay and Humboldt County. Turbines roughly 600 to 700 feet tall would be built on floating platforms because the water is too deep to anchor them to the sea floor. Combined, both sites would generate 4,600 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 1.6 million homes.

“California has a world-class offshore wind resource and it can play a major role in helping accelerate California’s and the nation’s transition to clean energy,” said White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy.

Specifically on Tuesday, the Department of Defense agreed to drop its opposition to the Morro Bay site, which had stalled plans for several years. In 2017, during the Trump administration, the Navy issued maps that would have put much of the ocean off the California coast off-limits to offshore wind development, saying the turbines and their undersea cables might conflict with training exercises.

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/05/25/biden-administration-opens-california-coast-to-offshore-wind-turbines/

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Biden opens California coast to offshore wind turbines (Original post)
SouthBayDem May 25 OP
Hugh_Lebowski May 25 #1
SunSeeker May 25 #2
stuffmatters May 26 #6
JCMach1 May 25 #3
kysrsoze May 26 #4
ZonkerHarris May 26 #5
TeamProg May 26 #7
Hekate May 26 #8
catchnrelease May 26 #9
hunter May 26 #10
The Mouth May 26 #12
hunter May 26 #13
The Mouth May 26 #14
hunter May 26 #15
The Mouth May 26 #16
IronLionZion May 26 #11
ripcord May 26 #17
hunter May 26 #18
ripcord May 26 #19
hunter May 26 #20

Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Tue May 25, 2021, 11:13 PM

1. I suppose they have to replace the lost power from decommissioning Diablo Canyon somehow ...

I'd have preferred Diablo was kept running, but this is a decent substitute.

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Tue May 25, 2021, 11:38 PM

2. It'd be awesome if they put them offshore from the Trump Golf Course in Palos Verdes, CA!

Last edited Wed May 26, 2021, 03:47 AM - Edit history (2)

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Wed May 26, 2021, 02:12 AM

6. Great idea!

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Tue May 25, 2021, 11:46 PM

3. Incoming NIMBYs in 3...2...1

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 12:13 AM

4. I'm all for it - especially if they'll power the desalination plans we need

No issue with them - much more pleasing to the eye than the multitude of offshore rigs we have to look at. And we’re undoubtedly going to need lots of power to give SoCal sufficient water from desalination.

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 01:11 AM

5. I live on the beach in Ventura County and I welcome the wind turbines. We already have off shore oil

rigs up and down the coast.

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Response to ZonkerHarris (Reply #5)

Wed May 26, 2021, 02:16 AM

7. Yep, those offshore oil rigs off of Santa Barbara are also a filthy reminder of

Big Oil's ugly hand on our wallets.

Turbines would at the very least LOOK better.

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Response to ZonkerHarris (Reply #5)

Wed May 26, 2021, 02:22 AM

8. I've lived on the Central Coast, Goleta to Ventura, over 40 years. I'd love to see the oil rigs ....

...shut down, but I don’t think we’ll get to choose that tradeoff. At least we can count on the wind turbines to not foul the ocean and beaches.

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 02:50 AM

9. 20 miles offshore

That won't ruin the view, unless you have some kind of scope!

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 08:32 AM

10. Wind power represents an unacceptable commitment to the filthy natural gas industry.

Wind power is not viable without natural gas backup power.

Every megawatt of wind power installed has to be backed up with a megawatt of gas power to provide power whenever wind can't meet demand, which is most of the time.

The natural gas industry knows this. This is why wind power hasn't been rejected in places like Texas or Denmark where the natural gas industry has very significant political power.

Hybrid gas / wind energy systems will not save the world as we know it. If we quit natural gas now, which we really must do if we want to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, then wind power becomes useless.

This is not an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good, it's just the hard math.

Using fossil fuels is analogous to smoking. If you have a pack-a-day habit (natural gas) and you cut back to a pack-every-other-day habit with vaping (wind energy) then you are still a smoker. If non-smokers embrace this smoking and vaping habit then their lives will be shortened as well.

The only way we'll quit fossil fuels by quitting fossil fuels. "Feel good" solutions like wind turbines are not going to help us. An economy powered entirely by wind, solar, and other "renewable" energy sources would look nothing like the economy many affluent people now enjoy.

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Response to hunter (Reply #10)

Wed May 26, 2021, 09:57 AM

12. Natural gas isn't going away in our lifetimes.

I see no evidence of it happening whatsoever.

Cutting back, yes, as wind and solar come online, but "quitting fossil fuels" entirely is a fantasy.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #12)

Wed May 26, 2021, 10:43 AM

13. Then we are toast.

And these wind turbines are still useless and won't delay the collapse of our civilization or the remains of the natural environment we are familiar with.

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Response to hunter (Reply #13)

Wed May 26, 2021, 11:33 AM

14. Even if we could wave a wand and go completely renewable

China is still building *COAL* plants as fast as they can.

Toast, alright. Sometimes I fucking feel like I'm in a slow motion 'On The Beach'.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #14)

Wed May 26, 2021, 12:16 PM

15. I don't know why developing nations have to follow in the footsteps of industrial U.S.A. and Europe.

Doesn't anyone ever say, "Hey let's skip this part where they cut down their forests, exterminated entire species, tortured their minority populations, killed and maimed their laborers, and polluted the land, air, and water..."

Do humans always have to learn things the hard way?

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Response to hunter (Reply #15)

Wed May 26, 2021, 12:28 PM

16. Except when they don't learn at all, probably yes :-(

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 09:16 AM

11. Less chance of wildfires from the ocean nt

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Response to SouthBayDem (Original post)

Wed May 26, 2021, 01:10 PM

17. Need them along the entire coast of California

Need to add some desalinization plants but still California won't be able to keep up with the needs of the coastal regions of the state.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #17)

Wed May 26, 2021, 04:50 PM

18. Typically it takes about 3 kilowatt hours to desalinate a cubic meter of sea water.

The theoretical minimum is about 1 kilowatt hour.

One cubic meter = 264 gallons.

The California Aqueduct, which carries water to Southern California, can transport 370 cubic meters of water per second but usually carries less than that on average, especially in these times of global-warming induced drought.

It would take a lot of wind turbines to desalinate that much water, and the environmental impacts along the California coast would be horrific. That's the scale of the problem.

Sea life can be killed in desalinization plant sea water intakes, and also by the chemically treated brine these desalinization plants dispose of.

Judging from the experience of Germany and Denmark, electricity from hybrid wind power systems retails for about $0.35 a kilowatt hour. It's less than that in California because we pay less for natural gas "back-up" power. But gas is not really backup power as alternative energy enthusiasts like to claim it is. It's a primary energy source.

In the City of San Diego a cubic meter of water delivered to residential customers currently costs a little over two cents above the base meter fee. (1)

The nearby Carlsbad desalinization plant advertises it can produce fresh water for "half a penny a gallon." (2)

That's $1.32 per cubic meter, definitely over two cents, but not really that much costlier than the international experience of around $0.85 a cubic meter for desalinated water.

I've got no dog in this fight other than my Quixotic hatred of wind turbines installed in previously pristine places and the entire factory farm dairy industry.

Hmmmm...

That's a pretty big dog.


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Response to hunter (Reply #18)

Wed May 26, 2021, 05:04 PM

19. What would help the most is coastal Southern Californians being water responsible

Between all the green lawns in the desert and allowing millions of gallons of runoff from the cement rivers to run into the ocean their actions would never hint that the state is in a drought. Los Angeles has already caused the single largest source of P-10 dust in the United States when they drained Owens Lake, I hope California understands that it is not up to the rest of the state to provide water for coastal Southern California. It is almost like having millions of people living in an area with an inadequate water supply wasn't very smart.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #19)

Wed May 26, 2021, 05:39 PM

20. Some audacious engineering could refill Owens lake...

... and stabilize the Salton Sea.

It would probably involve some judicious application of nuclear power.

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