Ken Salazar, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) hosted a meeting with governors and representatives of Atlantic Coast states to discuss a regional approach to wind energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
In attendance were Govs. John Baldacci, D-Maine; Donald L. Carcieri, R-R.I.; Jack Markell, D-Del.; Bob McDonnell, R-Va.; Martin O'Malley, D-Md., and Deval Patrick, D-Mass., joined via phone.
‘A coordinated, region-wide approach to offshore wind will help us move forward with orderly development in the Atlantic OCS,’ says Salazar. ‘Region-wide planning could foster cooperative approaches to developing the infrastructure necessary to service offshore wind development.’
DOI's Minerals Management Services (MMS) has identified several key areas that would benefit from a regional approach to offshore wind development, including strategic siting principles, transmission, environmental planning and the use of environmental research funds.
The meeting signified a proactive first step in forming an Atlantic Wind Consortium that will ensure cooperation of the states and the federal government to speed up permitting of offshore wind facilities, according to Baldacci. Planning, siting and permitting of offshore wind will also provide lessons for transmission issues.
The MMS will be working with federal agencies and other stakeholders to leverage federal resources and funding for regional environmental and technical issues and to identify ways to improve the efficiency and predictability of the review-and-approval process for renewable energy projects.