To follow up on my colleague Janet Jacobs’ blog on this exciting topic, here’s some more detailed information about the MOU, especially as it relates to marine and hydrokinetic ("MHK") technologies:
The United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (“EERE”) and the United States Department of the Interior’s newly-renamed Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (“BOEMRE”) (see Note below) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Coordinated Deployment of Offshore Wind and Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Technologies on the United States Outer Continental Shelf (the “MOU”).
The purpose of the document is to prioritize and facilitate environmentally-responsible deployment of commercial-scale offshore wind and MHK energy technologies on the Outer Continental Shelf (the “OCS”) through collaborative efforts. In a recent blog, I mentioned that the DOE has committed $15.36 million to help researchers and developers alike to bring various MHK technologies closer to commercial deployment. This MOU represents yet another effort to spur the growth of the burgeoning offshore renewable energy industry.
An interagency working group has been tasked with developing an action plan that addresses the deployment of offshore renewable energy projects, including both offshore wind and MHK technologies, within 30 days. The action plan will outline how the BOEMRE and EERE can work together to streamline leasing and regulatory processes on the OCS for those sites with high energy resource potential. The MOU also outlines how the agencies will share information and undertake collaborative activities such as stakeholder engagement, technical and environmental research, joint evaluation of standards and timelines for development, and the dissemination of information to decision makers.
Note: On June 21, 2010, DOI Secretary Ken Salazar issued Order 3302 renaming the Minerals Management Serivce the BOEMRE.