CLEE Policy Briefs and Convening Summaries

California Offshore Wind Stakeholder Engagement Series

UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) first began its work on California offshore wind (OSW) in 2020 by convening various stakeholders to discuss the challenges of, and attempt to find common ground on, environmental mitigation in offshore wind development. In 2021, CLEE published an offshore wind report on the OSW planning process in California, noting regulatory and policy challenges and urging the inclusion of stakeholder and tribal voices in the state’s emerging industry to ensure equitable and effective development in the state. The report also pointed to a lack of spaces in which dialogue between stakeholders could occur. State and federal agency workshops at the time were few and far between and there were no gathering places, either real or virtual, for those interested in the future of offshore wind to share concerns, obtain information, and discuss common needs.

In response to this, CLEE spearheaded a California offshore wind stakeholder engagement forum in 2022 intended to provide information to and foster conversation between a broad array of stakeholders, including tribal and state government representatives, environmental advocates, fishing community representatives, local government representatives and staff, wind developers, environmental justice advocates, labor union representatives, and others. The stakeholder forum sessions included: an overarching introduction to OSW, a session on federal lease stipulations, a primer on transmission infrastructure, and an overview of perspectives and lessons learned from OSW projects in Europe and along the US East Coast. 

This document discusses some key themes that emerged from CLEE’s convenings this year and sheds light on the perspectives of those who will be driving, and those who are impacted by, offshore wind as the state embarks on the initial implementation phases of this new industry following the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management lease auction on December 6-7, 2022.