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California Offshore Wind Firms Show Caution With Modest Bids

  • The deep Pacific waters create costly, difficult terrain
  • Five leases are up for grabs in Interior Department auction
Wind turbines at a wind farm in Rio Vista, California. 

Wind turbines at a wind farm in Rio Vista, California. 

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Updated on

Six companies are still vying for the opportunity to install floating wind turbines off the California coast after offering $402.1 million for the tracts Tuesday.

The turnout — just a sliver of the 43 developers that had prequalified to bid in a government auction of those coastal leases — signals some industry caution about the scale of the challenge harnessing renewable power in deep Pacific waters. The sale, which resumes Wednesday morning, is an initial test of the industry’s appetite for offshore wind projects in more costly and difficult terrain.