Task force for offshore renewable energy launches in Oregon
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Oregon gets a federal-led task force for offshore renewable energy generation.
An inter-governmental task force designed to get state, local and federal lawmakers working together on offshore renewable energy held its kick-off meeting for Oregon Thursday.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement hosted the meeting and will work with Oregon agencies to identify offshore sites for development as renewable energy projects such as wave and wind energy.
It's the first task force being set up by the agency on the West Coast. The bureau, known as BOEMRE, is part of the Department of the Interior. BOEMRE is working with nine similar task forces on the East Coast, where conversation has focused mainly on offshore wind such as the Cape Wind project.
"Oregon has done and continues to do phenomenal work in the area of offshore renewable energy," said John Romero, spokesman for BOEMRE
BOEMRE's jurisdiction starts three miles offshore. Having the bureau involved in identifying development opportunities up front should eliminate some uncertainty on the part of developers.
"I think historically people have been avoiding anything beyond the three-mile line because of the unknowns," said Justin Klure, a partner with Portland-based Pacific Energy Ventures.
Klure, a consultant on energy projects, said the task force offers an opportunity to coordinate both the planning and regulatory processes.
Romero said officials from Oregon requested the task force, which will bring government agencies together with tribes and industries represented by the Oregon Wave Energy Trust to determine the charter of the task force and to identify potential projects.
"Oregon is really interested in moving forward with offshore renewable projects," Romero said.
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