Offshore renewables

The agency that regulates U.S. offshore energy activity will hold a dozen public workshops this month on leasing areas in federal waters for renewable energy projects, offshore wind farms or generating electricity from ocean waves.
However, lack of interest from Gulf Coast states merited only one of those sessions alongside the oil-and-gas-heavy Gulf of Mexico, in New Orleans.

“Most of the work will be on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. There’s less discussion at this point about potential projects in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico,” Walter Cruickshank, acting director of the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, said today.
“Based on the level of interest (along the Gulf Coast), we felt one meeting in New Orleans was enough for this initial round,” he said.

The workshops stem from the Obama Administration’s framework for offshore renewable energy development in waters more than three miles off U.S. shores, known as the outer continental shelf.
That framework delineates a process for granting leases, easements and rights-of-way for renewable energy operators to essentially rent offshore areas from the government to develop such projects.

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