The California State Lands Commission, as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, will analyze the potential environmental effects of the CADEMO project.
The California State Lands Commission prepared a Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the CADEMO project in 2021 that can be accessed here:
Vandenberg Offshore Wind Energy Projects PEA
The Commissioners subsequently voted unanimously to give a green light for the next phase of CADEMO’s permitting process – preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR will be prepared by an independent environmental consultant to be selected by the Commission. More information about the EIR process can be found here:
CADEMO will present researchers with their first opportunity to monitor construction, undertake post-installation monitoring, and understand operations and maintenance activities for floating offshore wind along the West Coast. This will provide the first information of its kind in such an environment and would be invaluable ahead of construction of future commercial-scale projects proposed in the federal Morro Bay and Humboldt areas. Currently, little or no research has been conducted on the interactions of West Coast fish, bird, and marine mammal species with offshore wind turbines and moorings.
As CADEMO’s ambition is to use two different floating wind technologies if possible, the project could also allow for easy comparison and testing not only between two platforms of the same structure, but also between two different types of platforms and mooring systems. CADEMO intends to be involved in a wide range of studies on the impacts of floating offshore wind projects on a broad variety of relevant species. This would include birds, bats, cetaceans, fish, reptiles, and invertebrates – presenting a unique opportunity to use the project’s turbines as a practical research platform on a comparatively small scale that poses minimal risk to habitats and species. Being up to five years ahead of any construction of the larger projects, this creates a timing opportunity not available in federal waters.