The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its first offshore renewable energy task force meeting with the State of Hawaii to discuss the potential development of offshore wind power.
This intergovernmental task force was established to facilitate communication between BOEM and state, local, Native Hawaiian and federal stakeholders concerning renewable energy leasing for research activities and commercial development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), offshore Hawaii.
The task force includes state government officials designated by the governor, officials from relevant federal agencies, and local government officials.
The task force meeting included an overview of existing regulatory processes and discussions on how best to complement Hawaii's clean energy initiative when considering renewable energy development on the OCS, which starts three miles from the coast.
Notably, the initiative established the goal of transforming Hawaii's energy supply to 70% clean energy by 2030.
"BOEM created this task force at [Hawaii Gov. Neil] Abercrombie's request to coordinate and consult with the State of Hawaii and others on potential renewable energy activities on the OCS offshore Hawaii," says BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "Working closely with stakeholders will allow us to identify and address issues relating to future offshore renewable energy leasing and development in a way that is smart from the start and supports Hawaii's clean energy goals."
"This intergovernmental task force will encourage development of Hawaii's offshore alternative energy options to lessen our islands' dependence on foreign oil, provide a bridge to a fully realized renewable energy future and allow more clean energy projects – and the quality jobs that come with them – to come to fruition," Abercrombie adds.
In addition to Hawaii, BOEM has established renewable energy task forces with Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.