Launchpad of the West Coast floating offshore wind industry. Pioneer in utility-scale solar. The Central Coast is emerging as a hub of renewable energy critical to meeting the state and nation’s ambitious carbon-free energy goals.
Three global companies have begun developing the nation’s first floating wind farms in a 376-square-mile area off the Central Coast, already home to one of the world’s largest single solar farms and the proposed site of the world’s largest battery storage plant. And a vision for a clean tech innovation park as Diablo Canyon’s next chapter is moving forward.
This clean energy focus reflects the environmentally conscious ethos on the Central Coast —a long-time energy-exporting region that’s also the birthplace of Earth Day and home to nation-leading carbon neutrality targets.
Paso Robles' Pearce Renewables acquires leading solar engineer
Pearce, the renewable energy industry’s largest independent services provider, acquired Natron Resources, a leading provider of design and engineering services for solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems.
Patagonia installs solar windows developed by Santa Barbara company
A small team of UCSB grads developed a transparent photovoltaic coating that turns commercial windows into energy-producing surfaces, opening the door to a whole new world of solar power.
SunHydrogen draws $45M for renewable hydrogen technology
The investment will fuel development of SunHydrogen’s nanoparticle-based green hydrogen technology and related renewable hydrogen innovations.
“Wind power plants (in Morro Bay and Humboldt) could be among the first commercial-scale floating wind power plants in the world, leading the deployment of new technology that has potential to deliver clean energy to coastal regions worldwide.”
“The interconnection infrastructure is very prolific in the Central Coast. … We see this as an excellent opportunity to redeploy folks in the fossil fuel industries and power plant industries into our sector of energy storage positions.”
“When it comes to nuclear, solar power and now offshore wind, San Luis Obispo County is once again in the spotlight.”
ASSETS + RESOURCES
Three international companies have set to work planning the nation’s first floating offshore wind farms after December’s auction of the 376-acre Morro Bay Wind Energy Area.
Diablo's next chapter
The plant’s industrial area offers unrivaled energy assets for pioneering the next chapter of our state and nation’s energy independence and resilience.
Another reuse opportunity lies in the 1,640 acres surrounding a Phillips 66 refinery closing this year, offering heavy industrial zoning, heavy electrical power and rail spurs.
Both Cal Poly and UC-Santa Barbara have highly ranked engineering programs with concentrations in electrical and environmental engineering and advanced labs for industry collaboration. Cal Poly is home to the Electric Power Institute, and UCSB hosts the U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for Energy Efficient Materials.
Two massive solar projects call SLO County home: the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm and the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch, together generating electricity to power 260,000 homes. REC Solar, started in SLO 20+ years ago, was acquired by Duke Energy and is part of its new Sustainable Solutions division.
state grid connections at Diablo Canyon and Morro Bay
highly trained transitioning energy workers
average annual wage
Clean Tech + Renewable Energy Companies
Click the dots to see companies in the region, and find detailed company, industry and regional data in our data center.