How much energy would be produced by the offshore wind energy plant proposed for the Central Coast? And how can we put that into terms the average resident can understand?
Several recent news reports have said the installation would produce about 3 gigawatts (GW) of energy. Period. Full stop.
Is that 3 GW per hour, per day, per year, or from now until the end of time? And how great a contribution would that be to our total energy supply?
During The Tribune's recent panel discussion on wind energy, the question was asked: "We hear that this project will produce nearly 3 GW of electricity. What does that mean for our electricity grid and powering our homes?"
California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas responded, "Three GW is a large amount of electricity."
Well, that really answers the question, now, doesn't it?
According to the state Energy Commission, San Luis Obispo County uses more than 1,700 GW of electricity per year. If this offshore plant is only going to produce 3 GW per year, is it really worth the trouble?
It's time for us to demand some clear, detailed, specific answers.