The Oregon Story Starts in the Oregon Department of Energy. In 2017 they found the Offshore Wind opportunity to be intriguing, but felt it would take major resources to research and justify action.
Meanwhile, in California the current and previous governors have made commitments to go quickly green and it has created a market for lots more green energy. The easiest source for lots more green energy is Offshore Wind, which runs more hours per day at higher average wind speeds than wind on land. It also pairs well with both onshore and offshore kinds of storage systems. European investments in Offshore Wind have proven the opportunities and advanced the technology since 2017.
Current technology for Offshore Wind is floating towers that allow:
So, if California is going to use this technology, it will be based on using a port to do the construction and deployment and service. There are ports that could do that in northern California, however, Coos Bay in Oregon has seemed to be a cheaper and better port for the land base.
Given a construction and service role in providing green energy for California suggests that Oregon should also consider getting in on the opportunity as another place that needs green energy. Oregon's electric utilities are quite a ways from 100% green. Since UN IPCC SR15 says we should be 50% green by 2030 and 100% by 2050, any easy access to reliable, cheap green electricity would be quite a boon. In fact, the earlier we get to 100% green grid, the more we support the ecosystem.
The wind sweet area off the coast starts well north of Coos Bay and extends to near San Francisco. This provides major opportunities for Oregon to figure out how to bring electric energy ashore and into a grid to serve at least the I-5 corridor.
Offshore Wind has now proven that it can provide a major portion of the energy needed by any adjacent state, so Oregon could get major gains from not only servicing the projects, but making it a part of Oregon's energy investment story.
“Things sure are happening fast around the US offshore wind power scene. Up until last week it looked like wind development along the Pacific coast would be a long time coming. Well, that was then. All of a sudden, no less than 14 companies are duking it out for the right to power up wind farms in the waters to the west of California.
“To ice the offshore wind power cake, earlier this month the federal agency overseeing the offshore free-for-all advised stakeholders that the US has joined forces with The Netherlands and several other nations to accelerate the global offshore industry.
“Wait — what?”
“Winds blowing off the Atlantic coast could provide four times more electricity each year than the region currently uses, according to a new report.”
Offshore wind is the fastest-growing renewable-power segment. The connection of wind farms that are far from the shore of national grids requires high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology, with which ABB has long experience. What challenges have been overcome in the last decade in this maturing area?
August 7th, 2018 - Massachusetts Offshore Wind Promises To Be A Bargain 12 of the 14 coastal states — including New Jersey — have offshore wind potential that exceeds their current electricity consumption.
Off the coast of Washington and Oregon, the Pacific Ocean offers a world-class wind resource, which could develop into a major new source of clean electricity for the region. Offshore wind has the potential to deliver many benefits: meeting regional energy planning goals, attracting industry, invigorating existing economic sectors, and advancing regional environmental policy goals. Further, the Pacific Northwest has a unique alignment of services, industry, resources, and economic development platforms to develop and grow an emerging offshore wind industry, while supporting traditional economic sectors in the region.