Schatz Energy Research Center

Offshore wind energy

If you’re interested in receiving updates on newly released reports and upcoming events, please email us at windstudies@schatzcenter.org.

Introduction

Aerial image of south Humboldt Bay and its jetties, extending into the Pacific

Wind studies news

If you’re interested in receiving updates on newly released reports and upcoming events, please email us at windstudies@schatzcenter.org.


Offshore wind energy presents enormous potential to help meet California’s 100% clean electricity target. The wind resource beyond Humboldt Bay is among the best in the nation, with wind speeds often exceeding 10 meters per second at 90 meters above the ocean’s surface — and even faster at heights around 120 meters, where turbines would likely be centered. Offshore wind speeds are fairly steady across seasons and throughout the day, providing stable energy generation.

To develop wind generation off California’s north coast would require harbor and transmission upgrades, and careful siting and design based on environmental and geological constraints and consideration of the resource needs of current stakeholders including fisheries, local tribes, and the US military.

Learn more

Project announcements:

Fall 2020 Webinar Series

A dredge ship and small fishing boat in the mouth of Humboldt Bay)

Exploring the Feasibility of Offshore Wind Energy for the CA North Coast

This fall, our team is hosting a series of five webinar workshops on the feasibility of offshore wind energy development on California’s north coast.

In each webinar, we will share topical findings from our recently conducted studies. After each presentation, there will be a moderated panel discussion. Webinar participants will then be invited to share their insights, questions, and perspectives.

PLEASE NOTE: To increase accessibility for all participants, we have moved this series to Zoom. Please re-register with the new Zoom links below.

Schedule

Webinars will begin broadcasting at 2 pm (Pacific), and range in duration from 2-3 hours. We welcome participation in these events from a broad audience. Each session is free and open to the public, and closed-caption recordings will be released following each webinar.

Funding

Production of this five-part offshore wind webinar series is supported by the Ocean Protection Council of the California Natural Resources Agency. The research studies were funded by the California Ocean Protection Council, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 

Our project studies

A closeup of an albatross flying above the ocean

2019-2020 studies

Our first set of reports are now available for download on our reports and publications page. More reports will be posted in the next few weeks.


In 2019, our team began conducting a range of studies to assess the feasibility of offshore wind development for the region off Humboldt Bay, California. These initial studies included energy generation and transmission; economics and job development; port and coastal infrastructure; environmental and geological systems; and community needs and goals for shared ocean resources.

New and upcoming studies

Our Seabird 3D study is now underway, with results anticipated in summer 2021.

Partners

Current collaborators on our offshore wind studies include ecological consultants from H.T. Harvey and Associates, coastal engineering specialists from Mott MacDonald, Pacific Gas & Electric, and faculty in the Geology, Economics, and Environmental Science & Management departments at Humboldt State.

Schatz Energy news