The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved $10.5 million grant to transform Port of Humboldt Bay into a wind terminal. The project will have the potential to support the development of 1.6 GW of wind energy. Moreover, the project will create up to 4,500 new jobs.

Humboldt Bay is the ideal location for offshore wind turbine construction. Moreover, the deep navigation channels and lack of bridges in Humboldt bay make it unique among sites in California. In addition, the federal government is preparing to grant permits for offshore wind energy just 20 miles from Humboldt bay. The new terminal has the capacity to power around 1.5 million homes. This is according to the estimation of California Energy Commission (CEC).

Employment opportunities

The massive wind power terminal will bring thousands of prospective jobs to the Humboldt Bay area. Larry Oetker, director of the Humboldt Bay Harbor district is expecting creation of 4,500 new jobs. Moreover, the project will also add thousands of additional jobs during the construction phase. In addition, the project is expected to revitalize the waterfront industry in Humboldt County. An economic assessment found that the terminal could generate as many as 830 local jobs and more than $130 million in industry output over a five-year period.

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    “Humboldt Bay has the optimal conditions to serve as the primary port for the offshore wind industry for the entire West Coast. We are fully dedicated to prepare our port for this remarkable opportunity and we are honored to be working with the California Energy Commission to launch California into the future of energy production.”  Harbor District Board President Greg Dale said in a statement.

    Utilization of grant funds

    The grant funded activities include completing preliminary engineering and design work, conducting site surveys and special studies. Moreover, preparing necessary environmental impact assessments, implementing early construction, and initiating environmental mitigation measures are also part of the funding.

    In May 2021, the US government decided to advance offshore Humboldt County in California for offshore wind development. Department of the Interior formally designated the Humboldt area as a Wind Energy Area (WEA) during the same year.

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