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News Release: August 19, 2009 Print this page

FERC, Maine sign first East Coast hydrokinetics agreement

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state of Maine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate procedures and schedules for review of tidal energy projects off the coast of Maine. Today's MOU is the first of its kind on the East Coast; FERC has signed two similar agreements with Oregon and Washington.

The MOU ensures that FERC and Maine will undertake all efforts in an environmentally sensitive manner, while taking into account economic and cultural concerns.

"Today's agreement is an important step to pursuing hydrokinetic technologies on the East Coast," FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said. "This commitment by Maine to develop renewable energy sources puts us well on our way to move these new technologies forward and bring benefits to consumers."

"I heartily applaud Maine's commitment to promoting this clean, renewable energy source," FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller said. "It's my hope that with the leadership of states like Maine, we can get some of these tidal energy projects into the water so their effects can be measured and their benefits demonstrated."

With respect to tidal energy projects, FERC and Maine agree that:

  • Each will notify the other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license or license. This will allow for the start of coordinated efforts to review the project.


  • They will agree upon a schedule for processing applications as early as possible. The schedule will include specific milestones for FERC and Maine to complete their respective processes. They also will encourage other federal agencies and stakeholders to comply with the schedules.


  • Along with prospective applicants and other participants, they will work to identify potential issues and to determine what information is needed and what studies must be conducted so FERC and Maine can undertake required reviews of proposed projects.


  • FERC agrees to consider to what extent proposed tidal projects are consistent with Maine's pertinent comprehensive plans.


  • Maine agrees to take action on an application for water quality certification for a demonstration hydrokinetic tidal project within 60 days of the state's acceptance of an application for processing.


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Updated: June 28, 2010