Environment

Federal task force to talk with locals about offshore wind development

A wind turbine, named Fukushima Mirai, is seen about 20 kilometers off the coast of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in 2013.
A wind turbine, named Fukushima Mirai, is seen about 20 kilometers off the coast of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in 2013. Marubeni Corp. via The Associated Press

Possible offshore wind energy development along the Central Coast will be discussed at a public meeting with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in San Luis Obispo. The federal agency scheduled the meeting at the invitation of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson.

Gibson and Supervisor Adam Hill will host the event at the County Government Center at 1055 Monterey St., Room D-170.

An intergovernmental task force on renewable energy is gathering environmental information and ocean use data for the entire coast of California, with an initial emphasis on the Central Coast region because of viable wind energy resources, current commercial interest and existing infrastructure, according to information provided by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Members of the task force will attend the public meeting and share information about offshore wind planning activities, including a planning timeline and a presentation about a web-based spatial planning tool that will be used to share information to inform future decision-making.

Gibson called the efforts “big-scale thinking” and said potential plans could fit in with the decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Proposals to install windmills off the Central Coast have been met with some concern about potential effects on fishing, views and the environment.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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