Who will benefit from Morro Bay wind energy job creation?

June 7, 2023

Floating windmill designs


A proposed wind energy project in Morro Bay will create 24,000 jobs during construction, primarily for people who do not live on the Central Coast, according to a new report by two professors at Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business.

California plans to rely on offshore wind energy to achieve its renewable energy goals. The off-shore wind farms are projected to generate 2,000 to 5,000 megawatts of energy by 2030 and 25,000 megawatts by 2045.

Cyrus Ramezani and Mahdi Rastad’s 86-page report details the economic impacts of the Morro Bay wind energy projects and identifies the types of jobs that will be created.

Last year, the federal government auctioned off three offshore wind energy sites located between 20 and 30 miles off the coast near Morro Bay. While the components will be manufactured out of area, multiple agencies are working to identify the best ports to assemble the parts, which may or may not be done on the Central Coast.

Of the 24,000 jobs that are anticipated during the six-year construction and assembly phase, the report estimates 50% will be local with some support facilities on the Central Coast. However, if the assembly work is primarily completed in the Los Angeles area, those numbers would drop.

The local jobs will primarily be filled with workers who currently do not live in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara counties because of the limited number of unemployed workers on the Central Coast, according to the report. In addition, the California workforce is not qualified to fill many of the specialized positions.

“The California labor market is only capable to partially meet the demand for specialized workers created by commercial scale floating offshore wind projects,” according to the report. “Absent robust and comprehensive educational and skill training programs, California’s floating offshore wind industry will have to import trained labor from other states, while simultaneously investing in the developing of a local workforce.”

During the projected 25 years of operations, the Morro Bay floating offshore wind industry is expected to generate approximately 600 jobs, with 480 in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, according to the report.

The report does not discuss the number of jobs the county will lose in the fishing and hospitality industries.

The report notes the future of the county’s current energy producer, the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, is uncertain and a closure could affect hundreds of high-paying jobs in the county. While a shutdown would likely have a significant impact on the local economy, Ramezani said the Central Coast wind energy projects represent a potential bountiful job replacement, right around the time Diablo could potentially shutter.

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If you look deep enough you will see China will have a heavy hand in this pie. The US has sat on it’s butt and depended on others to supply our needs and we are now in debt to our ears and not self dependent period. We spend money on wind turbines and solar to save the planet then a forest fire in Canada puts us back a decade . You need to realize that we spend Billions on climate change things China spends Billions on their military

China spends one-third of what the U.S. spends on its military and a lot more than we do on renewable energy. Look it up.

I will agree with you that the “U.S. has sat on its butt” for many years while China has cornered the market on the production of both wind turbines and solar panels. You see, Chinese politicians are not owned by the fossil fuel industry like they are here (thanks to Citizens United).

We should have already begun cutting back on fossil fuels many years ago, right after Jimmy Carter sounded the alarm in the late 1970’s. Instead, we have been beholden to Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and Saudi Arabia, instead of doing the right thing for our nation and the environment.

A T China may spend less than we do because they force their people to work for nothing and do as they say, China also has stole most of the technology from other countries so they saved Billions and a lot of time They have more coal mines and use it to run things as they don’t have the oil reserves. Yes we should be using more solar etc but without the oil you could never make the panels anyway they both have to go together in a sane way not like we are doing it by just making people do as the Government says

Who will benefit from Morro Bay wind energy job creation?

Well don’t forget the CCP and the Chinese people who will get employed to make the darn things and then the shipping companies to float them over here….

A lot of folks will get jobs we the people of Morro Bay will just get more traffic road closures and pot holes to deal with and increasing blood pressure at the site and thought of us never being the same Morro Bay ever again….

The Chinese are the leaders in offshore wind farms. In fact, China boasts 44% of the world’s offshore wind turbines. It also has six of the top ten leading companies that manufacture wind turbines. In fact, China is the leading producer of renewable energy by a large margin. It is one of the essential reasons why the U.S. needs to increase its numbers.

In this case, maybe the Chinese companies referenced will provide some of the turbines, but America generally gets its turbines from European companies Vestas and Siemens Gamesa. I plan on writing a letter to Congressman Carbajal to determine just where these turbines will be manufactured.

As for jobs, outside of consulting, I would think that Americans would fill the leading roles in building and maintaining the offshore wind farms in California. Most of those jobs will not be in this area, because much of the construction will be done at the already industrialized ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

And, my sympathy about the loss of the old Morro Bay with its triple stacks spewing soot into the atmosphere.

The Morro Bay power plant used natural gas for steam production. This would result in the emission of very low levels of Co2, and water in the form of steam. No “smoke” was emitted from the stacks, only steam, thus no “soot” could form…or be spewed. The old joke was, Morro Bay made it’s own fog.

Being a pass-through cooled system, water heated by the gas, was discharged North of the rock. That discharge greatly benefited surfers, who could use the stream current to take them back out to the line-up, while filling their wetsuits with warm water.

Thanks, good info. I stand corrected.

so, use hundreds of miles of ocean to bring on power that would replace the power generated by Diablo on a few acres. this wind power won’t be a net add to the grid if the anti’s are successful, only replace it, so we will be moved to getting all electric appliances, auto’s, trucks etc and have the same grid capacity.

and no, the jobs added will not be a replacement for the Diablo jobs – there will be fewer jobs (stated was less than 500 for the county) and the pay will be lower.

AND there wont be enough power!

And, that is ONLY if ALL the turbines are functioning at peak production at the same time.

The wind and solar people never get around to answering the question about night time, cloudy days, high wind shut downs, or storms that could break and sink these floating disasters.

I just read an article about the big and important and earth saving wind farm in Scotland…that required diesel generators to warm and spin the turbines in the winters of no wind.

The wind and solar people never get around to answering the question about night time,”

You don’t know what you are talking about, the question has been answered.

When I talk of no power being generated at night by solar cells, I’ll betcha I really do know what I’m talking about.

You also didn’t answer the question.

When I talk of no power being generated at night”

You did not say that, you said: “wind and solar people never get around to answering the question about night time,”

There are more than 1000 off grid households in the county who have no pge, the lights stay on fine when the sun goes down with out gas generators most of the year. Both of my solar systems work fine at night/grid faults .

“You also didn’t answer the question.” You never asked one (this is a question mark: ?, see?).

This is why I am against homeschooling, at least as it’s currently being done.