Obama Administration Announces Great Lakes Wind Projects Agreement

April 04, 2012

The Obama Administration joined the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania on March 30 to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) streamlining offshore wind development in the Great Lakes. DOE, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium are among the signatories.

The MOU will enhance collaboration between federal and state agencies to speed review of proposed offshore wind projects. Specifically, the 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. The area has the potential to produce more than 700 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind, about one fifth of the total U.S. offshore wind potential. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that each gigawatt of offshore wind installed could produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.

To safely and responsibly develop offshore wind resources, federal and state agencies—which share jurisdiction in the Great Lakes—must fully evaluate the potential social, environmental, safety, and security impacts of projects. See the DOE press release, a fact sheetPDF, and the complete MOUPDF.