CADEMO and Santa Ynez Chumash: Pioneering Offshore Wind Collaboration

Aug 2022 visit

Setting a new path for California’s offshore wind industry, CADEMO Corp. and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians have signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for the proposed CADEMO floating wind farm in ocean waters near Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County.

The CBA, signed last week creates a collaborative process in which Floventis and the Tribe will work to develop protocols and programs for CADEMO to demonstrate potential pathways for tribal cultural and environmental engagement with offshore wind power development in California.

“This agreement is a big step, not only for our project, but for the offshore wind industry as it engages with local California Native tribes” said Mikael Jakobsson, Director of Floventis Energy, the owner and developer of CADEMO.  “Our project site is located in the ancestral waters and lands of the Santa Ynez Chumash, and we are honored to be collaborating with the Tribe”.

The CADEMO project comprises four 15MW floating turbines in state waters off Point Arguello.  CADEMO is expected to be operational years before deployment of California’s larger-scale wind projects farther offshore in the Morro Bay and Humboldt federal lease areas.  The new Chumash CBA includes the following provisions:

  • CADEMO will consult closely with the Tribe in the planning and execution of state and federal environmental reviews, which are now underway.
  • CADEMO will support a Traditional Cultural Landscape study to be conducted by the Tribe.
  • CADEMO and the Tribe will work with the Tri-Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and California Community Colleges to create apprenticeship programs, courses, certificates, and two year degree programs for topics such as tribal collaborative management of offshore resources, environmental review survey work, and offshore wind technicians
  • CADEMO will support a new non-profit research institute established and operated by the Tribe to develop tribal oceanographic expertise and best practices for environmental co-management of offshore and littoral resources and the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
  • The Tribe will re-title the CADEMO project with a name of the Tribe

The CADEMO-Chumash CBA is the latest agreement involving key stakeholders of the project.  In July, CADEMO and the US Department of Defense signed a mitigation Agreement to allow the project to operate in proximity to Vandenberg Space Force Base’s launch activities.   Last year, CADEMO, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, and IBEW 1245 signed a Project Labor Agreement for labor union representation and hiring practices in the construction, installation and maintenance of the project.  Each of these steps is a precedent for California offshore wind, demonstrating a series of templates for best practices in stakeholder relations and social equity in the industry.

CADEMO will help generate the knowledge and public acceptance that California needs to successfully grow the sector as Jakobsson explained:  “The global climate crisis demands that California develop offshore wind as a component of its strategy of getting to 100percent clean energy.  But this must be done in a manner that meets a wide variety of stakeholder concerns, form Native tribes to the military to labor unions to environmental groups.  CADEMO will be operational years before the gigawatt-scale projects in federal waters, and it will help de-risk the process forward and will provide many lessons learned so California can do offshore wind right”