East Coast states sign offshore memorandum

US: Interior secretary Ken Salazar and 10 East Coast states have created the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, a group dedicated to promoting the development of wind energy on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

US interior secretary Ken Salazar

The group comprises Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia. It will seek to improve permitting, data, investment, science and infrastructure surrounding offshore development.

This includes:

  • Permitting. To clarify what state and federal agencies are responsible for the regulatory process surrounding OCS development. Additionally the group wants to reduce the amount of time required for approval.
  • Science. Combining state, federal and academic research on wind-related areas including bird migration patterns and geology.
  • Infrastructure. Examine restrictions for companies looking to invest in offshore wind and identifying areas where costs can be reduced.

Both the government and the states said they would provide funds to meet these goals. Salazar added the newly-created Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would oversee the development of wind energy on the OCS.

Speaking about the move, Salazar said: "Appropriate development of Outer Continental Shelf wind power will enhance regional and national energy security and create American jobs through the development of energy markets and investments in renewable energy technologies."