US Agencies Reduce Red Tape on Offshore Renewable Energy Project Approval

wind turbines photo

photo: Vik Walker via flickr

Developers of offshore wind power projects in the United States may still have to worry about financing, but the amount of bureaucratic red tap that has to be untangled will now be less of a hassle. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff have announced that their two agencies will now divide up the work overseeing offshore reneawable energy development:Under the agreement, the Department of the Interior will have jurisdiction over offshore wind power projects (and solar power, according the DoI press release... should someone propose an actual offshore solar power facility), while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have jurisdiction over wave and tidal power projects.

In the joint statement released yesterday, Secretary Salazar said,

Our renewable energy is too important for bureaucratic turf battles to slow down our progress. I am proud that we have reached an agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding our respective roles in approving offshore renewable energy projects. This agreement will help sweep aside red tape so that our country can capture the great power of wave, tidal, wind and solar power off our coasts.

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