Development of California’s offshore wind resource is “a goal of the state”, according to energy commissioner Karen Douglas, but looming conflicts linked to US navy operations in the Pacific Ocean and cost-driven onshore transmission infrastructure issues will pose challenges to the first projects vying for development.

Speaking at the 'Floating Frontiers' conference this week, Douglas said “it’s a goal of the state, people are aware of the possibilities [with offshore wind]”, noting that she believes state agencies, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – which oversees federal waters more than three miles (5km) from shore – should “soon” be in a position to begin permitting offshore wind projects.