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Long Beach releases plan for largest offshore wind turbine facility at any U.S. port

Within about a dozen years, floating wind turbines — as tall as the Eiffel Tower — will stand alongside the cranes and cargo containers at the Port of Long Beach as part of the largest offshore wind turbine facility in any U.S. port.

Once assembled in the Port of Long Beach, the 1,100-foot-tall turbines can be towed by sea to locations in Central and Northern California to generate renewable energy for the state.

The Port of Long Beach released on Tuesday plans for the offshore wind project — dubbed Pier Wind — to generate 20 megawatts of energy for the state, helping California move toward a zero-emission future.

“As society transitions to clean energy, our harbor is ideally located for such an enterprise — with calm seas behind a federal breakwater, one of the deepest and widest channels in the U.S., direct access to the open ocean and no air height restrictions,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a statement. “No other location has the space to achieve the economies of scale needed to drive down the cost of energy for these huge turbines.”

The massive project would involve creating up to 400 acres of new land for a terminal capable of handling heavy-lift crane operations and would cost nearly $5 billion, according to the port officials. Construction is more than three years out as local officials still need to plan with state and federal entities.

The wind turbine facility could be operational by 2035, according to port officials.

The 20 megawatts that the turbines could generate still represent only .08% of the energy that California hopes to generate via offshore wind power by 2045.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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