DOI, East Coast States Establish Offshore Wind Consortium

Secretary of the Interior (DOI) Ken Salazar and the governors of 10 East Coast states have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formally establishes the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to promote the efficient, orderly and responsible development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Salazar announced the agreement at Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2010, where he also announced the establishment of a new regional renewable energy office in Virginia to coordinate and appropriately expedite the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy resources on the Atlantic OCS.

Several wind energy projects for the Atlantic OCS have been proposed for East Coast states, positioning the region to tap into the enormous potential of wind power in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

The MOU was signed by Salazar and the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Together, the DOI and the Atlantic governors will use this agreement to facilitate federal-state cooperation for commercial wind development on the OCS off of the Atlantic coast through collaborative efforts on issues of mutual interest. Under the MOU, the consortium will develop an action plan that sets forth priorities, goals, specific recommendations and steps for achieving the objectives outlined in the agreement.

DOI's new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will oversee the development of wind and other renewable energy resources on the OCS. In addition to cooperation with the governors, the DOI will continue to work with local, state, tribal and federal stakeholders to facilitate the commercial leasing process for offshore renewable energy development through intergovernmental task forces.

Task forces have been formally established with Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland, and are in process for New York, South Carolina and Florida.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior

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