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News Release: June 4, 2009 Print this page

FERC, Washington sign MOU for Hydrokinetic Energy Projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the State of Washington have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate their review of renewable energy projects in Washington state waters that use emerging hydrokinetic technologies. The MOU ensures that FERC and Washington will undertake their regulatory efforts in an environmentally sensitive manner that recognizes economic and cultural factors.

"This MOU will help reduce some of the regulatory barriers to providing consumers with access to this new form of renewable energy," FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said. "Today's MOU follows up on one we signed with Oregon last year that has enhanced the development of these renewable resources."

FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller agreed. "I am delighted that my home state of Washington has joined Oregon in agreeing to a memorandum of understanding with this Commission on the development of new hydrokinetic technologies," he said. "This decision will help promote another form of clean and renewable energy in the state. The next crucial step is to place some of these projects in the water so that any effects on the marine ecosystem can be thoroughly analyzed. It's time for action on renewable energy technologies."

Under the MOU, officials at FERC and in Washington agree to the following with respect to hydrokinetic energy projects:

    • They will notify each other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license or license;


    • When considering a license application, they will agree upon a schedule for processing as early as possible. The schedule will include milestones, and FERC and Washington will encourage other federal agencies and stakeholders to comply with the schedules;


    • They will coordinate the environmental reviews of any proposed projects in Washington state waters. FERC and Washington also will consult with stakeholders, including project developers, on the design of studies and environmental matters; and


    • If Washington prepares a comprehensive plan on the siting of hydrokinetic projects, FERC will take this plan into consideration when issuing a license for any hydrokinetic project.


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Updated: June 28, 2010