The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a new partnership with five states – Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania – that aims to streamline offshore wind energy development in the Great Lakes.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) – signed by both the Obama administration and the governors of the five states – is designed to enhance collaboration between federal and state agencies to speed the review of proposed offshore wind projects. Specifically, federal and state agencies will develop an action plan that sets priorities and recommends steps for achieving efficient and responsible evaluation of proposed offshore wind power projects in the Great Lakes region.
The agreement aims to bolster existing investments in offshore wind technologies by promoting a consistent and predictable regulatory environment that inspires innovation and helps to bring clean energy solutions to market.
According to the DOE, the Great Lakes' offshore wind energy resource has the potential to produce more than 700 GW from offshore wind. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that each gigawatt of offshore wind installed could produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.
‘The Great Lakes have the potential to provide clean energy from offshore wind and related green jobs in upstate New York,’ notes New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the agreement. ‘This MOU offers a responsible mechanism for enhanced and efficient collaboration among federal, state and local interests in evaluating processes and proposals for development of this resource.’
The following participants signed the MOU: the DOE, the State of Illinois, the State of Michigan, the State of Minnesota, the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of the Army, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.