Gov. Rick Snyder has signed an agreement with several Great Lakes states and federal agencies regarding offshore wind energy.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 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 for offshore wind projects.
"Michigan's universities and partnership organizations have been performing cutting-edge research on offshore wind energy," Snyder said. "At the state level, we want to lend our full support to these efforts. If technical and cost barriers are removed as a result of such efforts, that will be a big win for Michigan."
As the Great Lakes State, Michigan recognizes the vital role of cooperation between the basin states in issues that impact these resources, Snyder said.
"The Great Lakes Compact shows the value of cooperation across the Great Lakes basin," the governor said.
Snyder added that he will not pursue new offshore wind legislation at this time.
"The technical and cost barriers to offshore wind are still very significant," he said. "We need the research efforts to bear more fruit before we redesign the regulatory framework we have in place. Our current system protects Michigan's interests at this time."
Other participants in the MOU are Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Aviation Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.