Offshore Wind: Balancing efficiency and accountability


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This panel will address whether threats from climate change, mercury emissions and other effects of fossil fuel dependence justify development of offshore wind in select areas of the Great Lakes. What state and federal regulatory schemes currently exist and are they adequate to protect the lakes? How are regulators, developers and environmental groups addressing wind development and environmental protection?

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  • “Nominations” are either accepted by the ISEA or not – if not accepted, they may still be leased-permitted under each state’s law but the federal and state authorities will view them differently – they are not “preferred” by the ISEA but they are not precluded from investigation by private developers or leasing by the states. WRA bottomlands might be considered “low hanging fruit.”
  • Offshore Wind: Balancing efficiency and accountability

    1. 1. an ISEA idea...2,000 miles to offshore renewable energy<br />M. Klepinger, October 2011<br />
    2. 2. What’s the Big Idea?<br /> GL community should find 2,000 square miles (2%) to be used for offshore energy<br />To do this, we should create<br />~ Inland Seas Energy Compact<br /> OR<br /> ~ Inland Seas Energy Authority (ISEA)<br />
    3. 3. Why So Few Prospects?<br />Wind resources classified as “excellent” to “superb” by the U.S. Department of Energy<br />
    4. 4. Questions From All Quarters About Great Lakes Wind<br />Governance questions<br />Environmental questions<br />Engineering questions<br />Price and profitability questions<br />
    5. 5. What is the ISEA Idea?<br />Create a new authority for offshore energy management, policy and planning<br />Create a development corporation similar to the St Lawrence Seaway (but with triple bottom line)<br />Convene leaders to identify which areas need preservation & which areas are best for energy<br />
    6. 6. Why?<br />Creates certainty - a more stable 20-year policy environment - and will focus public debate<br />Improves our position, gives us a brand, as we seek international investment in clean energy<br />Provides space for the scale of the industry (enough to make billion$ investment worthwhile)<br />
    7. 7. ISEA Objectives<br />To capitalize on one of our Great Lakes natural resource advantages - as the community did with shipping in the 1950s (constructing the new St Lawrence Seaway) <br />To build upon the tradition of managing all Great Lakes natural resources for the benefit of future generations... adding offshore energy resources to the mix (along with fisheries, transportation facilities, water quality, etc.)<br />To strengthen the Midwest’s economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions<br /> (without unacceptable risks to area ecosystems)<br />
    8. 8. Why So Few Prospects?<br />Where are the serious investors? <br />Existing state statues on Great Lakes bottomland leasing and permitting were not designed to address offshore wind<br />Existing federal Great Lakes management programs are not designed to address offshore wind<br />Effect of impulse to “go it alone” in each state<br />Need to make progress on ice engineering, grids, ports, installation vessels<br />Need to find economies of scale, lower costs by acting together on our mutual interests<br />Need a regional power authority to set prices long term <br />
    9. 9. Functions of Energy Authority<br />Sets 5-yr, 10-yr, 20-yr production goals<br />Prioritizes research, detailed field investigations<br />Prepares guidelines for site assessment, construction, operations, decommissioning<br />Provides good public venue for federal agencies (in what is primarily a state leasing decision)<br />
    10. 10. Functions of Energy Authority<br />Partners with states to market sites<br />Considers state nominations of the most favorable wind resource areas (WRAs)<br />Issues bonds and distributes revenues<br />Could sell assets after 20 to 25 years<br />
    11. 11. How?<br />How do we define “most favorable” areas for offshore wind energy?<br />
    12. 12. Michigan’s Approach <br />Governor’s Offshore Wind Council 2009<br />GLOW identified 24 criteria for policy-making<br />Used GIS mapping to find the “best” & “worst”<br />Drafted legislation for how to lease the state’s “Most Favorable” five hundred square miles<br />
    13. 13. Most Favorable Wind Resource Areas (Michigan WRAs)<br />SOURCE: Institute for Fisheries Research, UM/MDNR, GLOW Final Report, October 2010. <br />
    14. 14. Sanilac County WRA<br />
    15. 15. Sanilac County WRA<br />
    16. 16. GLOW Council’s Criteria<br />Aids to navigation<br />Buoyed navigation channels<br />Coastal airports<br />Military operation areas<br />Submerged transmission lines<br />Habitat/biological (5 criteria)<br />Disposal sites <br />Harbors/marinas<br />Large river mouths<br />Shoreline (6-mile viewshed)<br />Shoreline (3-mile productivity) <br />National park lakeshores<br />State parks and wilderness <br />Shipwrecks <br />State bottomland preserves <br />Underwater archeological sites <br />Commercial fishing areas <br />International and state boundaries <br />Shipping lanes<br />
    17. 17. In a Nutshell<br />Great Lakes community needs an offshore energy management authority<br />Similar to the St Lawrence Seaway – but with a triple bottom line mandate<br />Regional policymakers need some quality time to decide on the “best” and “worst” places to take advantage of our world-class winds<br />WINGSPREAD has offered to host a group of leaders when we’re ready<br />
    18. 18. So, What’s Next?<br /> Retreat!<br />Convene leaders of key stakeholder organizations:<br />~ Council of Great Lakes Governors <br />~ Great Lakes Commission <br />~ Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative <br />~ St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation <br />~ International Joint Commission<br />~Two GL environmental organizations & Native American organizations<br />~ AWEA Offshore Wind Working Group, Offshore Wind DC<br />~ Professional staff in the Depts. of Energy, Commerce, State, Interior<br />WINGSPREAD has offered to host a group of leaders when we’re ready<br />
    19. 19. Michael Klepinger <br />Inland Seas Energy Alliance<br />517.676.9858<br />