San Luis or Long Beach port as support for offshore windmills?

May 10, 2023


While some local and state agencies are in favor of transforming Port San Luis in rural Avila Beach into an industrial port to support offshore wind energy farms, the federal government and the Port of Long Beach have other plans.

Last year, the federal government auctioned off three offshore wind energy sites located between 20 and 30 miles off the coast near Morro Bay. The massive windmills, which stand about 1,000 feet above the water, will sit on floating platforms the size of baseball fields.

While the components will be manufactured out of area, multiple agencies are working to identify the best ports to assemble the parts, after which the windmills will be towed out to sea. Dock sizes at the proposed ports range from 30 and 400 acres.

Two agencies, Reach Central Coast and the California State Lands Commission, released reports in the past six months identifying Port San Luis as the best option. If selected, the port would be transformed into an industrial port with a large wharf for assembly and maintenance.

Floating windmill designs

There is also talk of utilizing the former Old Port Inn building as office space for industrial workers.

In contrast, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Dec. 2022 report says Port San Luis is not a good candidate. The report identifies three good candidates for assembly sites: Port of Humboldt, Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles.

The Port of Long Beach released a plan on April 20, proposing that it becomes a primary port for assembling off-shore windmills. At an estimated cost of $4.7 billion, the project would “involve creating
up to 400 acres of new land for a terminal to stage, store and construct” the windmills.

Port of Long Beach

In the report, the Port of Long Beach says it is the ideal location because it is surrounded by industry, it is adjacent to a deep and wide channel, it is near the state’s manufacturing base and construction workforce, and it is at “the center of the nation’s supply chain with connections to robust water, rail and roadway networks.”

Locally, residents have voiced concerns that transforming Port San Luis into an industrial port could harm the community’s coastal way of life and negatively impact the tourism industry.

“Port San Luis in Avila Bay is not appropriate for a staging and integration site to support offshore wind farms,” said Avila Beach resident Saro Rizzo. “Doing so would create both environmental and economic havoc on many levels to what is considered one of the best small remaining beach towns in California.”

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This is a boondoggle for federal money and expensive electricity. If this project was 100% private money and low cost electricity, my answer would still be NO. As for the next generation, time may afford a better answer. A fusion reactor and or better efficiency will likely meet the demands without the creation of discourse in our oceans.

I wonder how and when the California Coastal Commission will weigh in on this lunacy…

I’m sure they are all in favor of it. Anything to keep the lowly peasants away from the actual coast, is fine with them.

We don’t need it anywhere but in the middle of a windy desolate desert area.

The whole idea is costly, damaging and destructive to any environment, and like all others, fall far short of it’s projected energy output.

Seems, these “money saving” windmills just keep getting more and more expensive, every time a report is filed. Billions and billions of dollars will be spent, years before a single windmill can be made, and decades more until the field is fully operational, and billions more to maintain when the steel towers get placed in highly corrosive salt water.

Does anyone truly believe these will, in any manner, pay for themselves in the long run?

No, the ratepayers of California will pay and pay and pay.

Worst yet a sunami or large storm could leave the state dark no matter what is promised by the engineers. This is unproven technology, remember the Titanic.

Worst yet a sunami or large storm could leave the state dark no matter what is promised by the engineers. “

We could be hit by a meteor, a volcano could appear at the rock, Mothra could arrive. By all means lets not try new things that might make life here better, solve issues, make jobs etc.

Meanwhile I’m going to go hitch up the buggy and ride into town.

At least engineers have some math and experience to backup their statements.

Utility-scale solar and wind generation costs around $40 per megawatt-hour, while nuclear plants average around $175, so yes even with the cost increases they will pay for themselves quicker than Diablo.

Keep it as far away as possible.

Could just industrialize and expand both ports.

No thanks.