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State, Feds Announce Historic Offshore Wind Generating Power Platforms Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- With an eye toward a future powered by green energy, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a historic agreement Tuesday with federal officials on a deal to develop off-shore wind power generating platforms along the California coast.

As part of the agreement, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to offer a lease sale as early as 2022 within a 399-square-mile area of the Central Coast northwest of Morro Bay and a separate area on the North Coast.

"Developing offshore wind to produce clean, renewable energy could be a game changer to achieving California's clean energy goals and addressing climate change – all while bolstering the economy and creating new jobs," Newsom said in a news release. "This historic announcement, which could provide clean power for up to 1.6 million homes over the next decade, represents the innovative approach we need for a clean energy economy that protects the coasts, fisheries, marine life and Tribal and cultural resources we value so much as Californians."

Initial areas identified for offshore wind development could bring up to 4.6 gigawatts of clean energy to the grid over the next decade.

"I believe that a clean energy future is within our grasp in the United States," said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. "Today's announcement reflects months of active engagement and dedication between partners who are committed to advancing a clean energy future."

"The offshore wind industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation, while combating the negative effects of climate change," she added.

Under the terms of the agreement, efforts will focus on the use of floating offshore wind platforms with over 95 percent of the proposed lease sale area located 20 to 30 miles off the California Coast.

As part of his California Comeback Plan, Newsom has proposed $20 million in funding to support California's offshore wind capacity.

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