Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order preparing for future offshore wind development by establishing four advisory boards focused on informing New Hampshire’s next steps, while calling on state agencies to report on key studies.
Sununu says his order will ensure an open and transparent process involving diverse stakeholders to balance existing offshore uses with a new source of clean energy. "This will require enhanced coordination between state agencies, new studies, and continuous engagement with the public," he says. "Most of all, it’s imperative that we go through this process the right way from day one to maximize all the potential benefits of this new industry.”
The first federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting for the Gulf of Maine is December 12, 2019 at the University of New Hampshire.
The executive order establishes four advisory boards to work with stakeholders, and advise New Hampshire members of the BOEM Task Force throughout the process.
- Fisheries, endangered species, and environmental impacts advisory board, chaired by the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services, or designee.
- Workforce, economic development, and supply chain advisory board, chaired by the commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, or designee.
- Existing offshore industries advisory board, chaired by the executive director of the Pease Development Authority, or designee.
- Siting, transmission, and infrastructure advisory board, chaired by the director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, or designee.
Each Advisory board will include five members, representing relevant stakeholders, appointed by the chairperson. Advisory boards may establish working groups to further facilitate discussion. All meetings will be open to the public, and each advisory board will report updates to the NH members of the BOEM Task Force quarterly and in advance of formal BOEM Task Force meetings.
Additionally, the executive order also instructs the Office of Strategic Initiatives, the Department of Environmental Services, and the Department of Business and Economic Affairs to jointly study and report on:
- The historical and forward-looking greenhouse gas reduction potential of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine at varying levels of system installations.
- New Hampshire’s existing port infrastructure, coastal transmission infrastructure, and opportunities to attract offshore wind supply chain operations.
These reports will be completed no later than January 2021 and will be submitted to the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate President, Public Utilities Commission and the chairs of the relevant committees of the General Court.