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Offshore Wind Journal

US territories take another step towards offshore wind

Tue 11 Dec 2018 by David Foxwell

US territories take another step towards offshore wind
Randall Luthi: “building offshore windfarms would help provide power to US territories and drive economic growth”

A Bill has been passed in the US House that could help US territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico build offshore windfarms to provide them with power.

National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi issued the following statement following the passage of HR 6665, the Offshore Wind for Territories Act, by the House of Representatives.

“House passage of HR 6665 is welcome news for many Americans. Too often, Americans in the US territories are our forgotten citizens. The Offshore Wind for Territories Act empowers US territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico to tap their offshore resources and strengthen their energy security while providing jobs and economic growth for hardworking Americans.

“NOIA supports the inclusion of US territories in Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act by this bill and by the recent recommendations by the Royalty Policy Committee.

“As the 115th Congress draws to an end, it is imperative that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources follow the leadership of Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and pass this bill in a timely manner.”

As highlighted by OWJ in September 2018 a bill was passed by the House Committee on Natural Resources that would amend federal law to authorise offshore wind energy development in the Exclusive Economic Zone adjacent to all five US territories.

The bill proposed by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who represents Guam, was supported by all of the members of Congress representing US territories – Representatives Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP), Stacey E Plaskett (D-VI) – and Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) from Florida. During a 26 June Subcommittee hearing, representatives of the offshore wind industry and the US Department of the Interior testified in support of the Congresswoman’s bill.

Current federal law in the form of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act precludes the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from permitting offshore windfarms in federal waters off the coasts of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

The Offshore Wind Journal Conference in London on 5 February 2019 will address key issues including global market developments, increasing turbine sizes, floating offshore wind and industry regulations.

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