On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address where he laid out actions to move the economy toward clean energy sources, reduce carbon pollution and create jobs, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced an important step forward for the first offshore wind project proposed for federal waters off the West Coast.  Governor John Kitzhaber and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau joined Jewell to announce that BOEM has given the green light for Principle Power, Inc. to submit a formal plan to build a 30- megawatt pilot project using floating wind turbine technology offshore Coos Bay, Oregon. 

JewellOregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, and BOEM Direct Tommy Beaudreau listen closely to stakeholder perspectives during a roundtable meeting on ocean renewable energy.

“Today’s announcement is consistent with President Obama’s commitment to take actions that will create jobs and develop clean, domestic energy that powers our economy,” said Jewell. “This pioneering project would demonstrate floating wind turbine technology capable of tapping the rich wind energy resources in deep waters offshore Oregon. As we look to broaden our nation’s energy portfolio, the innovative technology and its future application hold great promise along the West Coast and Hawaii.” Read more in the full press release here. More coverage in the Oregonian here.

Surfrider staff was invited to participate in a stakeholder roundtable convened by Secretary Jewell along with commercial fishing representatives, renewable energy advocates & developers, and state and federal agencies. Oregon is viewed as a national leader in ocean planning with our recently amended Territorial Sea Plan, which was the result of an inclusive, stakeholder driven public process that was informed by the best available science. Many of the data layers such as our non-consumptive recreational ocean use study and viewshed layers can help to inform planning and avoid potential conflicts in cabling and siting of offshore projects. For Surfrider Chapters and members, all of this ties back to our Policy on Renewable Ocean Energy.