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California is Leveraging New Floating Technology to Bolster its Energy Future

As a national leader in wind and solar energy with ambitious goals to decarbonize, California has nonetheless lagged other coastal states in developing offshore wind power. The reason for that is simple. The continental shelf off California’s coast plunges steeply and deeply, far more so than do the coastal waters off the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, where massive wind turbines can be bolted to the sea floor.

For California, the more recent development of “floating” wind turbines that are tethered to the floor by cables is a hoped-for game changer. So much so that last August, the state government set a target of adding 25 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2045, enough to power an estimated 25 million homes.

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