- Associated Press - Sunday, November 8, 2015

MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) - A Seattle company is floating a proposal for California’s first offshore wind farm.

Alla Weinstein of Trident Winds is beginning a series of community briefings on her wind farm proposal. The San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday that the wind-industry veteran is proposing putting 100 floating wind turbines about 15 miles off Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County (http://bayareane.ws/1XXRLl5).

The offshore wind farm would be in line with Gov. Jerry Brown’s directive to have half the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2030. Environmental groups, however, are expressing reservations about the project, particularly about any possible impact of 630-feet-high turbines on migrating whales and birds.

Members of California’s struggling fishing industry worry the offshore wind farm would interfere with their catch.

“They want an area where a lot of guys fish,” Tom Hafer, president of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, said of the proposed wind farm. “We have a lot of areas already taken away. I don’t know how much more we can lose.”

Weinstein expects that just securing government permits for the work will take six or seven years. She plans a public forum on the project in December and is meeting with fishermen and local political and academic leaders.

Weinstein was involved in some of the world’s first floating wind farms, off Portugal.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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