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The Biden administration on Thursday proposed auctioning five areas off the coast of California for offshore wind development, a critical milestone in expanding the nascent U.S. industry to Pacific waters.

It is the latest in a government effort to put wind turbines along every U.S. coastline, with a goal of generating 30 gigawatts of power by 2030. President Joe Biden has said the new industry will create jobs and combat climate change.

The announcement comes on the heels of two successful auctions this year in Atlantic waters that, combined, generated more than $4.6 billion in high bids. Thus far U.S. offshore wind development has mainly been in the Northeast and has been dominated by European energy companies.

The sale notice includes three lease areas off central California near Morro Bay and two areas off the northern coast near Humboldt County. The areas were first identified by the Department of the Interior a year ago for potential development.

[Nichola Groom]

More: U.S. proposes offshore wind sale off California coast

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