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Brandi Colander’s Blog

OCS Wind Energy Summit

Brandi Colander

Posted February 19, 2010

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Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined Governors and representatives of the Atlantic Coast states to discuss a regional approach to offshore wind development on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). A press call was held after their meeting which focused on coordinating efforts and the potential of creating an offshore wind energy industry in the US. Secretary Salazar reported that the overarching tone of the conversation was that the US does not want to be left behind the UK and other countries that have moved forward on offshore wind. He emphasized that this is an opportunity to create jobs and clean energy here in the US.

The big outcome of this effort will hopefully be the creation of an Atlantic Wind Consortium to coordinate offshore wind efforts; Salazar noted that in addition to the states that participated today, he anticipates DOE, DOD and FERC also being part of this consortium. Governors and Salazar discussed the importance of the federal government streamlining its process for moving this industry forward.  He explained that they are currently evaluating how they can expedite offshore wind permitting processes to assure investors that these projects will move forward.

Offshore transmission concerns were also raised during their meeting. Salazar explained that there are currently efforts underway for groups of states to connect to a transmission backbone.  Salazar hopes that within 30 days they can disclose a working document for how they intend on moving forward based on today’s discussions.

Governors and representatives praised President Obama for his leadership, and Secretary Salazar for his follow through, on prioritizing offshore wind and clean energy generation. They echoed the opportunity to create jobs and clean energy domestically and the importance of remaining coordinated in moving forward. Salazar praised the states for their leadership in offshore wind development and acknowledged that the issues raised during their meeting today can be worked through together and they now have a shared priority.

Click here for the Department of Interior’s Media Advisory and participants:

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