- Published: 10 October 2022 10 October 2022
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area (WEA), located 20 miles offshore central California.
The final Environmental Assessment (EA) assesses potential impacts from the issuance of leases within nearly 240,898 acres (376 square miles) of the Morro Bay WEA off the coast of San Luis Obispo County, California. The Morro Bay WEA, if developed, could bring up to 3GW of clean energy to the grid. Based on the analysis in the EA, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impacts (FONSI) to environmental resources.
The EA considers potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys). The EA also considers project easements associated with potential leases and related right-of-way grants for subsea cable corridors in the Morro Bay WEA.
If BOEM decides to conduct a lease sale in the Morro Bay WEA, the bureau will develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before approving the construction of any offshore wind energy facility in the Morro Bay WEA. That EIS will analyze the specific environmental consequences associated with the project, in consultation with Tribes, appropriate federal, state, and local agencies, and stakeholders and the public.