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Wave and Tidal Energy Project Review Process in California

May 19 2010 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Rick Wilson

The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Public Utilities Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to coordinate their review of hydrokinetic (wave and tidal) energy projects in California state waters. The MOU ensures that FERC and California will confer early and often to identify potential issues and to set a schedule to process permit applications. The MOU can be found online at: www.opc.ca.gov/category/news/. The FERC press release can be found online at www.ferc.gov/news/newsreleases.asp

Under the MOU, officials at FERC and in California 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

  • They will encourage applicants to seek pilot project licenses prior to a full commercial license to allow adequate testing of untested devices or device operations before commercial deployment

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

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

  • For more information about the OPC, please visit: http://www.opc.ca.gov/.




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