Courtesy of: Anastasia Telesetsky

Anastasia Telesetsky joins California Sea Grant to help the Central Coast chart clean energy options

Ute Eberle

California Sea Grant is excited to announce that Anastasia Telesetsky has joined the program as a member of the extension team. Telesetsky will support communities along the Central Coast in their decision-making about innovative offshore wind farms in the area.

Telesetsky is a professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she teaches environmental law, environmental policy, water law and issues in California agriculture. She is also a member of the Cal Poly Center for Coastal Marine Sciences. Previously, Telesetsky was a tenured law professor at the University of Idaho and worked as a private attorney focusing on environmental law, land use litigation, the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Clean Water Act. She holds law degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Berkeley. 

She will use her expertise to help Central Coast communities, particularly around Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria, navigate the development of an innovative energy technology that has been proposed for the area: “Floating” wind farms that are designed to operate in waters as deep as 4,300 feet. “Such technology makes it possible to deploy offshore wind farms in more places, but it hasn't had much global commercial development yet,” says Telesetsky.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently announced five leases for floating wind facilities on the Central Coast. Collectively, the farms could produce 4.6 gigawatts — enough power to supply more than one million households. The projects are early in their development, and an environmental impact assessment will be required before any construction could begin.

In her new role, Telesetsky will help set up a website that will serve as a clearing house for peer-reviewed scientific information on the projects, including their effects on the ecologies of avian, marine mammal and fishery species, as well as the possible economic impacts of job creation. 

Telesetsky is also organizing community workshops where communities can come together to discuss these planned developments and learn about opportunities to provide public comments to decision-makers. “We want to ensure that there’s transparent and reliable information and that people have a space to talk about offshore wind so that they can make educated decisions,” Telesetsky says.