The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on April 9, 2009. The purpose of this MOU was to clarify jurisdictional understandings regarding renewable energy projects in offshore waters on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), in order to develop a cohesive, streamlined process that would help accelerate the development of wind, solar, and hydrokinetic (i.e., wave, tidal, and ocean current) energy projects.
The MOU recognized that BOEM has exclusive jurisdiction with regard to the production, transportation, or transmission of energy from non-hydrokinetic renewable energy projects on the OCS, including renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
The MOU also recognized that BOEM has exclusive jurisdiction to issue leases, easements, and rights-of-way regarding OCS lands for hydrokinetic projects; and that FERC has exclusive jurisdiction to issue licenses and exemptions for hydrokinetic projects on the OCS.
July 2012 Announcement
BOEM and FERC Revise Guidelines for Development of Wave Energy and Ocean Current Technologies in U.S. Waters
BOEM and FERC have revised guidelines for potential marine hydrokinetic energy developers interested in pursuing technology testing and commercial development activities on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The revisions promote further clarity for the regulatory process and facilitate a more efficient process in authorizing marine hydrokinetic (e.g., energy developed from waves and ocean currents) research and testing activities. The revised guidelines, which were announced today by the two agencies at the HydroVision International conference in Louisville, Kentucky, are available at:http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Press-Releases/2012/BOEM-FERC-staff-guidelines-pdf.aspx