Sacramento gathering propels next phase of offshore wind

Turbines generating clean energy beyond the horizon off the Central Coast are years away, but the next phase of offshore wind planning is gearing up with significant collaboration and partnership. Here’s the latest.


+ Road Trip!: A contingent of regional representatives from REACH, SLO County, Port San Luis, the Morro Bay Chamber, labor, education and workforce development among others converged for the Pacific Offshore Wind Summit last week in Sacramento, where REACH facilitated valuable meetings with Sen. John Laird and Assemblymember Dawn Addis as well as the three leaseholder companies.

Sen John Laird addresses SLO County offshore wind delegation

SLO County delegation to the Pacific Offshore Wind Summit








“We are going to go big on offshore wind energy. We’re going to go big on our climate goals. And we’re going to go big on support for our local communities,” Addis said from the summit stage.

+ Back in SLO County: County-level activity is going forward under the new offshore wind subcommittee of Supervisors John Peschong and Dawn Ortiz-Legg. That includes in-depth planning and analysis of onshore operations and maintenance needs using $1 million in state funding and deploying an additional $750,000 from the state for staffing and resourcing.

logo of pacific offshore wind consortium+ Yay Science!: Cal Poly SLO has linked up with its counterparts in two other West Coast offshore wind host communities to form the university research Pacific Offshore Wind Consortium. Cal Poly’s Center for Coastal Marine Sciences will collaborate with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt and the Pacific Marine Energy Center at Oregon State University to advance research and innovation, university-level workforce education and professional development, and community and Tribal engagement and knowledge exchange.

+ Putting down roots: All three of the local lease winners have named community relations liaisons — and they may be familiar faces to some. Laura Fiedler is now California Community Affairs Director for Equinor’s Atlas Wind project. Erica Crawford is the Community Liaison for Golden State Wind, the California arm of Ocean Winds. And June McIvor was recently named Manager of Community Engagement for Invenergy’s Even Keel Wind project.

headshot of Laura Fiedlerheashot of Erica Crawfordheadshot of June McIvor







“Our region has incredible resources to be a leader in the clean energy transition, and community collaboration will be key to helping California reach its renewable energy goals and adding critical offshore wind to the matrix,” McIvor said. “I’m excited to have joined Invenergy this past month to support meaningful community engagement and serve as a resource for information sharing and collaboration with community members.”