The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Oregon 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.
“This agreement is a model of how federal and state governments can work together to promote the new energy technologies our country needs,” said Joseph T. Kelliher, FERC chairman.
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.
Together, FERC and Oregon, along with the prospective applicant and other participants, will identify potential issues and determine what information is needed and what studies must be conducted to permit the commission and the state 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 its coast. FERC agreed to consider to what extent proposed projects are consistent with the plan.
Finally, the MOU specified that any pilot project license or other license issued by FERC must include conditions to protect and mitigate potential damage to fish and wildlife resources.