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Home News March 30, 2012
Potential of Great Lakes Wind Farms Gets Federal Nod
The ACHP has entered into Memorandum of Understanding with nine other Federal Agencies and five Great Lakes states to streamline environmental review of proposed new offshore wind resources.
The ACHP has joined the Council on Environmental Quality, the Departments of Energy and Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, EPA, FWS, the FAA, and NOAA and the states Of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance and streamline environmental review of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes. Estimates of potential available offshore wind power is approximately 700 gigawatts, which is a substantial portion of the country’s total gross offshore wind resource.
In the case of the Great Lakes, the lake bottomlands are owned by each State, while the water itself is “owned” by the federal government. For this reason, both Federal and State regulatory authorities apply, making inter-and intra-state and federal coordination all the more essential to the viability of offshore wind development.This MOU will provide for a greater degree of predictability, transparency, and significantly less duplication in review of environmental documents in the approval process, which should reduce significantly the long lead times (up to 10 years) between initial conception and actual power generation. Reducing this approval period , even by a year, would generate cost savings, increase accessibility to renewable energy and jumpstart job creation.