December 2019 — Current

Supporting Sustainable Offshore Wind Energy Development for the State of California

CBI is working together with state and federal agencies to provide science-driven support for renewable energy planning.


Rebecca Degagne, M.S., GISP
Senior Geospatial Scientist

Wind energy developed in federal ocean waters off California’s coastline is poised to play an important role in diversifying the portfolio of resources that will help California achieve its 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy goals. Since 2016, the state has coordinated with other governmental partners, including the BOEM-California Renewable Energy Intergovernmental Task Force, to identify areas in federal waters off the state’s coast suitable for potential offshore wind energy development. To support this effort, the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) is using data from the California Offshore Wind Energy Gateway to produce a robust set of spatial models, designed to synthesize information to help stakeholders and decision-makers assess the suitability of offshore wind energy development in federal waters off the coast of California. These models, created using the Environmental Evaluation Modeling System (EEMS), provide a transparent and data-driven means for assessing a range of considerations at a given location, such as existing energy potential, deployment feasibility, ocean uses, fisheries, and marine life occurrence. Together, these models can be used to inform planning processes for offshore wind energy development to maximize renewable power generation and to avoid or minimize impacts to existing ocean uses and the environment.

The California Offshore Wind Energy Modeling Platform, powered by EEMS Online technology, provides an interface where stakeholders and decision-makers can interact with and explore the models and their data sources to help support decision-making processes.

The project's preliminary draft report, executive summary, and presentation slides are available on the "Files" tab. A California Energy Commission webinar recording with a project overview can be found here.

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