The United States on Tuesday is set to kick off the first sale of offshore wind development rights for waters off the coast of California, expanding the nascent domestic industry to the Pacific Ocean.
The auction is a major milestone in the Biden administration's push to put wind turbines along every U.S. coastline as part of its climate change agenda.
Projects developed in the area could one day power 1.5 million homes, according to the Department of Interior, and are a key part of California's efforts to wean its power sector off fossil fuels by 2045.
The sale also puts the United States, which has lagged Europe in development of offshore wind farms, at the forefront of the expansion of floating turbines, an emerging technology needed when the depth of the ocean precludes the use of standard, fixed equipment.
"It puts California on a path to be a global hub for offshore wind technology," JC Sandberg, interim chief executive of the American Clean Power Association, said on a call with reporters.