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Robert Collier

Setting a new path for the floating offshore wind industry, CADEMO has reached agreement with California’s labor unions to build and operate the state’s first offshore wind project with a union workforce.

Under the agreement, announced November 17, the CADEMO project off California’s Central Coast will partner with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245.

The agreement covers all of CADEMO’s contractors and subcontractors that will perform construction, assembly, installation, and maintenance on the four-turbine, 60 MW project in state waters off Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County. CADEMO is currently in the state’s environmental review process and is expected to start operations in early 2027. This means CADEMO will be completed years before any of the projects resulting from next month’s federal auction of ocean areas for floating wind projects offshore California.

Mikael Jakobsson, Director at CADEMO stated:

“We are proud to partner with California’s labor unions to lead the way for the floating offshore wind industry on the U.S. West Coast. CADEMO is a pathfinder project that sets a high standard for workforce and economic benefits to Californians, and for all floating offshore wind projects in the years to come.”

CADEMO already has pioneered best practices for the state’s offshore wind sector. Together with labor unions and other Central Coast organizations, it has received a three-year grant from the state’s Workforce Development Board to create a High Road Training Partnership for the industry statewide. CADEMO’s turbines also will host environmental monitoring and mitigation mechanisms to collect data and confirm best practices to protect birds, fish, and marine mammals in offshore wind operations.

By being first in the water and demonstrating innovative practices in labor, the environment, and supply chain development, CADEMO will help generate the knowledge and public acceptance that California needs to successfully grow the sector.

“This pilot project is a crucial step – obviously for our company but more so for the industry as a whole – before California takes the next step of putting hundreds of turbines farther offshore,” Jakobsson said. “The climate crisis demands that California develop offshore wind as a component of its strategy of getting to 100 percent clean energy. But this must be done in a way that is home-grown and produces local benefits, rather than just consisting of turnkey imports from abroad.”

The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California has 157 affiliated unions from 14 different construction craft unions, with 500,000 members statewide. IBEW 1245 represents 20,000 electrical workers in Central and Northern California, and constructs and maintains all the utility-scale transmission lines in the region.

CADEMO is owned by Floventis Energy, a joint venture of SBM Offshore, a major global developer of offshore energy infrastructure, headquartered in the Netherlands, and Cierco, a developer of floating offshore wind, headquartered in Palm Springs, California. Floventis Energy also is developing the 2 x 100 MW Llyr floating wind projects off the coast of Wales, UK.

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