U.S. Coast Guard Oversight and Involvement
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 renewable energy installation or facility (e.g. a wind turbine) is NOT subject to oversight by the U.S. Coast Guard under the provisions of Subchapter N.
Depending on the location of the OREI, the USCG may have an interest related to safety of navigation (i.e., Waterways management) both during construction activities and after completion of the OREI. Local operational units, such as Sectors, Air Stations and Small Boat Stations also have interests related to emergency response/rescue from an OREI.
Renewable Energy Support Vessels:
The U.S. vessels that support renewable energy 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]
Click on the title of this section above or here 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 renewable energy 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.