U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich announced regulators were making it easier to get a lease to develop commercial renewable energy projects off the U.S. coast.
"This streamlined approach could cut up to a year off the leasing process for some commercial wind energy projects in the Atlantic," Salazar said in a statement. "It would increase regulatory efficiency without affecting our ability to rigorously review, analyze and monitor projects to assure they are carried out in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."
Under the plan, the BOEMRE would eliminate the need for a company to go through a second process for a lease even it's the only company expressing interest. The Interior Department said that could save up to a year in the leasing process.
The BOEMRE in April approved the construction of a 130-turbine wind farm off Nantucket Island on the eastern seaboard, the first offshore wind farm in the United States approved by federal regulators.