News Release from FERC: March 27, 2008
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state of Oregon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate procedures and schedules for review of wave energy projects in state waters off the coast of Oregon. This effort will be undertaken in an environmentally sensitive manner, while taking into account economic and cultural concerns.
“I commend the state of Oregon for being a leader in the development of this new source of emissions-free renewable energy,” FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. “Their efforts, especially with today’s MOU, are critical to the successful development of hydrokinetic projects in this country. This agreement is a model of how federal and state governments can work together to promote the new energy technologies our country needs.”
“I am pleased but not surprised by the leadership and cooperation shown by the state of Oregon in fostering new hydrokinetic technologies,” Commissioner Philip Moeller said. “It was no coincidence that we held a well-attended meeting in Portland, Oregon, last October to explore modifying the FERC licensing process to encourage these new technologies. I look forward to working with the state and the region as the nation’s search continues for new sources of renewable and emission-free energy.”
The MOU establishes Oregon’s support of FERC’s procedures for a shorter-term, experimental pilot license that ensures environmental, economic and social protections.
With respect to wave energy projects, FERC and Oregon agree that:
* Each will notify the other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license or license. This will allow for the start of coordinated efforts to review the project.
* They will agree upon a schedule for processing applications as early as possible. The schedule will include specific milestones for FERC and Oregon to complete their respective processes. They also will encourage other federal agencies and stakeholders to comply with the schedules.
* They, along with the prospective applicant and other participants, will work together to identify potential issues, and to determine what information is needed and what studies must be conducted to permit the Commission and Oregon to undertake required reviews of proposed projects.
* Oregon intends to prepare a comprehensive plan for the siting of wave energy projects in state waters off the coast of Oregon. FERC agrees to consider, to what extent, proposed projects are consistent with the plan.
* Any pilot project license or other license issued by FERC must include conditions to protect and mitigate potential damage to fish and wildlife resource.