JeremyW wrote:Stanford has an excellent paper on some details of off shore site potential in CA: https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/Offshore/DvorakRenewEn2010.pdf
They suggest a site off the Humboldt Coast which, in summer, essentially looks like a base load power plant. Awesome! They do fail to mention the upstream upgrades necessary after connecting into the Humboldt Bay PG&E system, however. The load and lines in the area cannot support 1500 MW of new generation.
Still, I hope something gets built there in my lifetime.
Yes, too bad this Stanford proposal never went anywhere. The wind potential looks very good and the area is one of the few off the California coast shallow enough to avoid floating turbines. The lack of transmission lines into the area you note must be a significant problem. There is a retired nuclear reactor there, so at least there was the possibility of using its substation.
Sunday's LA Times has nice report of plans to build massive wind turbines offshore and possibly onshore, with segmented blades.
The article does not mention the Humbolt area, but near the end it mentions a new proposal from Fall 2015 from Trident Winds for a project off Morro Bay using floating turbines.
From several web sites I collected some features and parameters for this proposal. This proposal is still in a state of flux, so all numbers don't match.
1.0 GW wind farm
100 turbines, floating.
34 Km offshore
600 ft high
wind resource 8.5m/sec vs Humbolt Bay 10m/sec
4000 hours per year operation vs 1500 hours per year solar.
10MW per turbine would be very large. Elsewhere a size of 6.5MW was mentioned. Still very large compared to typical 1.5 to 2 MW onshore turbines.
They propose connecting to the grid using the existing substation still in place in Morro Bay for a large natural gas generator that was retired in 2014. This generator was rated at 650 MW.
The farm would not be visible from the beach, but it would be visible from an elevation such as Hearst Castle.
They claim there would be less impact on birds offshore compared to onshore. Not sure they have data to support that.
They expect a long approval period, even 10 years. During that time other large offshore floating wind farms should be built, including one off Scotland.
The same developer had earlier proposed a wind farm off the Oregon coast, but the project cost of $.24/kWh was rejected as too high.
Not quite sure why the array could not be placed farther from land to minimize visible impact of a pretty area. Perhaps 24 km is near the limit of how far AC can be transmitted through the ocean, given the high capacity of sea water. Converting to DC would cost more.