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Maine, FERC Sign Agreement on Tidal Energy Projects

August 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maine and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate procedures and schedules for review of tidal energy projects off the coast of Maine.

The MOU was signed by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff during a meeting with Governor John E. Baldacci today in Washington, D.C.

The MOU is the first of its kind on the East Coast. FERC has signed two similar agreements with Oregon and Washington.

“Maine is committed to developing our abundant renewable energy resources,” Governor Baldacci said. “Our State has been aggressive in its pursuit of clean energy to help end our country’s dependence on fossil fuels, and this agreement will help establish a coordinated and responsible partnership between Maine and FERC.”

“Today’s agreement is an important step to pursuing hydrokinetic technologies on the East Coast,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said. “This commitment by Maine to develop renewable energy sources puts us well on our way to move these new technologies forward and bring benefits to consumers.”

The agreement between Maine and FERC says:

• Each will notify the other when one becomes aware of a potential applicant for a preliminary permit, pilot project license or license. This will allow for the start of coordinated efforts to review the project.

• They will agree upon a schedule for processing applications as early as possible. The schedule will include specific milestones for FERC and Maine to complete their respective processes. They also will encourage other federal agencies and stakeholders to comply with the schedules.

• Along with prospective applicants and other participants, they will work to identify potential issues and to determine what information is needed and what studies must be conducted so the Commission and Maine can undertake required reviews of proposed projects.

• FERC agrees to consider to what extent proposed tidal projects are consistent with Maine’s pertinent comprehensive plans.

• Maine agrees to take action on an application for water quality certification for a demonstration hydrokinetic tidal project within 60 days of the state’s acceptance of an application for processing.

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