The Obama Administration has joined with the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will streamline the efficient and responsible development of offshore wind resources in the Great Lakes.
“President Obama is focused on leveraging American energy sources, including increased oil and gas production, the safe development of nuclear power, as well as renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which is on track to double in the President’s first term,” says Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “This agreement among Federal agencies and Great Lakes states is a smart, practical way to encourage the development of homegrown energy that will create jobs, power homes, and help increase our nation’s energy security.”
The MOU is designed to enhance collaboration between Federal and State agencies to speed review of proposed offshore wind projects. Specifically, Federal and State agencies will develop an action plan that sets priorities and recommends steps for achieving efficient and responsible evaluation of proposed offshore wind power projects in the Great Lakes region.
Unlocking the Great Lakes’ offshore wind energy resources could yield tremendous economic and environmental benefits throughout the region, and has the potential to produce more than 700 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind, about one fifth of the total offshore wind potential in the U.S. The development of even a small portion of the area’s offshore wind potential could create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs and generate revenue for local businesses.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that each gigawatt of offshore wind installed could produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes. The efforts made possible by today’s agreement will also bolster existing investments in offshore wind technologies by promoting a consistent and predictable regulatory environment that inspires innovation and helps to bring clean energy solutions to market.