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Wind Compact Looks at the Great Lakes

Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania have joined with a number of federal agencies in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on offshore wind in the Great Lakes. The goal of the compact is to streamline the process for developers to get approvals for wind turbine projects in the waters of the Great Lakes by promoting "expeditious, orderly and responsible review" of applications.  It calls for the signatories to develop a report addressing the "regulatory challenges" and create a "regulatory roadmap" for wind development. 

The MOU reserves approval rights to individual states.  Federal agencies party to the MOU include the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin did not sign the MOU.  A White House official said there are no applications for Great Lakes offshore wind projects currently pending.  Upon his signing the MOU Governor Snyder released a statement that he will not pursue new offshore wind legislation at this time

© 2020 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume II, Number 139


About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Environmental lawyer, Varnum

Bruce practices energy law, environmental law, and construction law. His energy background includes negotiating electric power sales agreements (both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy) state electric rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project structuring and permitting. For years, he published a blog focused on alternative energy developments in Michigan. Most recently he has been involved in various alternative energy projects, including wind energy, biofuels and solar projects.

His environmental experience includes air...