NEPA Process

Marine Regulatory

BOEM Regulatory Services  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the government agency responsible for regulating renewable energy projects on the outer continental shelf. This means that BOEM is the lead agency with regard to permitting offshore wind projects.

Developers need a thorough understanding of this regulatory process and will need to work proactively with BOEM as well as several other resource agencies in order to be successful. Kleinschmidt offers a comprehensive understanding of the process, agencies and engineering needed to allow our clients to find the most cost effective route through the particularly complex regulatory framework in the U.S.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Because marine renewable energy projects are under Federal jurisdiction they are subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and all projects are ultimately analyzed under NEPA, resulting in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA) that determines whether the project will create any significant impacts and ultimately, whether or not it should be approved. There are numerous other authorizations, permits, and other approvals that are also needed before a project can get built but ideally, all of the agencies involved in these are also involved in the NEPA process so that all concerns and impacts can be properly vetted, resulting in a more streamlined permitting process. Kleinschmidt has extensive experience dealing with NEPA and have conducted NEPA processes and prepared NEPA documents for private clients as well as on behalf of FERC.

Offshore Wind Lease Auctions: BOEM will start to issue offshore wind leases according to a complex auction process that will require developers to intimately understand the value of the areas that they are interested in. Our team can assist developers in the lease sale process to develop relative cost models of the area using advanced GIS tools [link] helping to develop strategies that will select the most favorable sites.

FERC Regulatory Services  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates all grid connected hydroelectric power projects, including those using waves, tides, or currents to generate electricity. Kleinschmidt has over 30 years experience working with FERC to license renewable energy projects throughout the US. Our team has successfully transferred this experience from the hydropower licensing process and is one of the few consultants who have practical experience permitting MHK projects in the U.S. 

This experience was one of the reasons that Verdant Power selected our team to assist with the regulatory and environmental process for their Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project in New York. In January 2012, the RITE project was successful in obtaining the first FERC issued tidal pilot license.  



Marine Renewable Projects