Oregon Plans Offshore Wave Energy Development

State of Oregon has amended its Territorial Sea Plan to allow for siting of marine renewable energy development projects in state waters.

The amendment identifies four “Renewable Energy Suitability Study Areas” along the Oregon coast where initial development of wave energy will be encouraged and pose the least conflict with existing ocean uses and natural resources. The four areas are located off the coasts of Lakeside, Reedsport, Nestucca, and Camp Rilea, and total about 22 square miles or two percent of Oregon’s territorial sea.

Wave energy development proposals in these areas will still be required to meet standards for protecting ecological resources, commercial fishing interests, recreational uses, and coastal views, but they will have fewer obstacles to overcome because planners have determined these areas to be the most suitable with the least potential for impact. Companies can also seek approval for projects in other areas off Oregon’s coast, but will have to meet more stringent standards.

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