The MBO Project will consist of approximately 100 floating offshore wind systems (FOWS) that will harvest the vast offshore wind resources for the benefit of the California electric consumers. Each FOWS will consist of a commercially available floating support structure and a large offshore wind turbine generator (OWTG) with a nameplate capacity greater than 6MW. FOWS is moored to the ocean floor using conventional properly sized, vertical load, drag imbedded, or torpedo anchors, a technology that requires no piling and is well suited for deep and variable seabed conditions. The installation is completely reversible, i.e. no permanent infrastructure is left on the sea bed upon decommissioning and performed with minimal acoustic disturbances. Individual FOWS are electrically interconnected with inter-array cables to form an offshore wind farm.
The exact number of FOWS will be defined at a later date as it will depend on a) confirmation of the available capacity in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) transmission lines, and b) the nameplate capacity of the selected OWTG. The competitive selection of the floating support structure supplier will be conducted in parallel with the development of the Site Assessment Plan; while competitive selection of the OWTG supplier will be conducted during Construction and Operation Plan development.
The MBO offshore wind farm is planned to be located approximately 33 miles offshore, taking advantage of a consistent wind resource with an average speed of 8.5 meters/sec. The proposed site location is in a vicinity of the ODAS buoy 46028. Based on over 27 years of data from the buoy, the expected energy generation from the offshore resources could surpass 50% capacity factors. The MBO site is located in a 2,600 – 3,300 feet (800-1,000 meters, or 400 – 500 fathoms) water depth approximately 26 nautical miles (nmi) (48 km) from Point Estero, California. Each FOWS is spaced approximately 3,300 feet (1,000 meters, or 0.54 nmi) a part to reduce, or eliminate, the wind shadow effects. Energy produced from all FOWSs is brought to an offshore, floating substation and delivered to shore via one or more (for redundancy purposes) export cable(s) using the same cable route and connecting to the Morro Bay substation owned by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).