“America’s offshore wind energy potential holds great promise for our clean energy future,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “A coordinated, region-wide approach to offshore wind energy will help us move forward with orderly development in the Atlantic OCS. Region-wide planning could foster cooperative approaches to developing the infrastructure necessary to service offshore wind development.”
Noting that President Obama has set a high priority on diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio, Salazar said offshore wind energy production in the Atlantic offers significant potential for development.
Interior’s Minerals Management Services (MMS) has identified several key areas that would benefit from a regional approach to offshore wind farm development, including strategic siting principles, transmission, environmental planning, and the use of environmental research funds.
Salazar has launched a number of initiatives to help spur responsible development of offshore wind resources, including the development of a regulatory framework for offshore renewable energy development. MMS will also 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.
MMS has already established intergovernmental task forces in seven states to address issues specific to areas off the coasts of those states. The seven states are: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia. Others are anticipated, including Florida and North Carolina. Through these task forces, the MMS works with Federal, state, local and tribal governments within the state to develop regional approaches to offshore wind development.