U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

Guidelines Revised for U.S. Wave Energy, Ocean Current Technologies

July 25, 2012

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on July 19 announced revised guidelines for developers pursuing technology testing and commercial development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The revisions further clarify the regulatory process and help streamline the process for authorizing research and testing of marine hydrokinetics—energy developed from waves and ocean currents.

The revised guidelines replace 2009 guidelines; they also provide information about agency responsibilities and how best to navigate the process for obtaining a marine hydrokinetic lease and license on the OCS. They cover topics such as provisions for obtaining leases and licenses, fee structures, and hybrid (e.g., wind and marine hydrokinetic) project considerations. The guidelines were developed as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of the Interior and FERC. Under the Memorandum, BOEM and FERC will coordinate to ensure that marine hydrokinetic projects address public interest, including the adequate protection of fish, wildlife, and marine resources and other beneficial public uses. See the BOEM press releasePDF and the complete guidelines PDF.