OCSNCOE Unit Emblem (silhouettes of a self-elevating MODU, an OSV and an offshore wind turbine over a silhouette of the United States with the U.S. Coast Guard mark (i.e., racing stripe) in the background).Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)

JACK ST. MALO during offshore construction with attending OSV and Floatel VICTORY. C-ENFORCER underway with water cannons flowing. SEVAN LOUISIANA underway when initially entering the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Platform GINA off the California coast. Block Island windfarm with attending CTV. SPARTAN 151 dockside in Seward, AK.

OCSNCOE Site Menu

Redirecting...

Additional OCS & Coast Guard-Related Info Menu

Redirecting...

Offshore Non-Mineral Energy

Block Island Wind Farm
Clockwise from left: Block Island Wind Farm, the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States (located in state waters off of Rhode Island's Block Island;
CG photo); Liftboat ROBERT; Crew Transfer Vessel ATLANTIC PIONEER, the first U.S. Flagged, Jones Act compliant CTV (CG photo).

U.S. Coast Guard Oversight and Involvement

Non-Mineral Energy (NME) Installation (previously referred to as Offshore Renewable Energy Installation (OREI)):
An OCS activity, for the purposes of 33 CFR Subchapter N, is currently associated with the exploration, development or production of minerals of the OCS. [emphasis added]. Therefore, the actual non-mineral energy installation or facility (e.g. a wind turbine) is NOT currently subject to oversight by the U.S. Coast Guard under the provisions of Subchapter N, except where specified for safety zoned of Part 147, in accordance with 33 CFR 147.10(b).

Depending on the location of the NME facility, the USCG may have an interest related to safety of navigation (i.e., Waterways management) both during construction activities and after installation of the NME facility. Local operational units, such as Sectors, Air Stations and Small Boat Stations also have interests related to emergency response/rescue from an NME facility.


NME Support Vessels:
The U.S. vessels that support NME installations are subject to U.S. Coast Guard inspection and oversight. These vessels will typically be inspected under 46 CFR Subchapters L, T, or I and may be multi-certificated under multiple Subchapters. Renewable energy support falls within the definition of an Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) regulated under Subchapter L as defined at 46 CFR 125.160:
"Offshore Supply Vessel or OSV means a vessel that -
   (1) Is propelled by machinery other than steam;
   (2) Does not meet the definition of a passenger-carrying vessel in 46 U.S.C. 2101(22) or 46 U.S.C. 2101(35);
   (3) Is more than 15 gross tons; and
   (4) Regularly carries good, supplies, individuals in addition to the crew, or equipment in support of exploration, exploitation or production of offshore mineral or energy resources." [emphasis added]

Use our NME support vessel page to learn more about the types of vessels that currently support, or are planned to support, offshore wind activities on the U.S. OCS.


Additional U.S. Government Agency Oversight and Involvement

Information related to NME installations and projects on the OCS can be found on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) renewable energy webpage and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) renewable energy webpage.


U.S. Regulations for Vessels Conducting Renewable Energy Support Operations

As mentioned above, vessels supporting renewable energy operations may be inspected under 46 CFR Subchapters L, I or T, and may be subject to multiple subchapters if multi-certificated. Additional subchapters of 46 CFR also apply to U.S. mariner licensing and vessel manning requirements, lifesaving and firefighting equipment approvals and vessel machinery, electrical systems and stability. Special equipment and operations (cranes and commercial diving are two examples) may be subject to other parts of 46 CFR, if installed on or conducted from a vessel that is supporting renewable energy operations.

CFRs can be viewed at ecfr.gov (regularly updated online version) or govinfo.gov (annual editions).


Policy and Guidance related to OREIs and their Support Vessels

U.S. Coast Guard Guidance related to Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREIs) is contained within the following documents:

BOEMRE/USCG MOA OCS-06, dated 27Jul2011

NVIC 02-23, Guidance on the Coast Guard's Roles and Responsibilities for Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), dated 05Oct2023. Note that Enclosure (6) to the NVIC was updated and publicized through a Maritime Commons blog post on 11Dec2023. The edit clarifies requirements for sound signals on offshore structures within renewable energy installations on pages 1 and 2 of Encl. (6). Also note that there are no change notices within the NVIC to denote the differences between versions 1 and 2 of NVIC 02-23. A watermarked copy of the initial release (version 1) of the NVIC is available here for historical reference purposes only.

NVIC 03-23, Guidance on Navigation Safety In and Around Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI), dated 16Nov2023.

Job Aids, which replaced the legacy CG-840 Books, related to support vessel inspections are posted on the Job Aid page.


Casualty Reporting

Current revisions of the "Report of Marine Casualty, Commercial Diving Casualty, or OCS-Related Casualty", CG-2692, supplemental forms and guidance can be found on the Office of Investigations & Casualty Analysis (CG-INV) 2692 Casualty Reporting Forms page.