Five Great Lakes states join forces to work on offshore wind energy policies

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2012

Five Great Lakes states have signed a memorandum of understanding with one another and the federal government to work more closely on offshore wind energy projects.

According to the White House Environmental Council, the new agreement will help accelerate the review of these projects.  State and federal officials will develop a plan that recommends steps for achieving efficient and responsible evaluation of proposals to build wind power facilities on the Great Lakes.

The council says the Great Lakes account for one-fifth of the nation’s offshore wind-energy potential. But Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder cautions that the new agreement does not “create or call for creating any regulatory processes or review requirements; instead, it requires various regulatory agencies to identify their current regulatory regimes.” He adds that Michigan has no plans to pass legislation authorizing new offshore facilities.

Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania are also part of the agreement.