CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu signed an executive order Tuesday taking the state closer to advocating for offshore wind energy projects.
The document creates four advisory boards to advise the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force as state agencies report on key studies.
“New Hampshire recognizes the tremendous potential that offshore wind power has to offer,” Sununu said in a statement. “With today’s executive order, New Hampshire will ensure that this is 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. 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 advisory boards will deal with issues affecting fisheries, existing offshore industries, workforce and economic development, and the siting and transmission process that would lie ahead for any project.
President Donald Trump’s administration approved Sununu’s request last summer to create this task force, which works with stakeholders from Massachusetts and Maine, to explore offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Maine.
The first meeting of the task force will be Dec. 12 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Sununu said.
Sununu, a two-term Newfields Republican, has been an outspoken advocate for expanding capacity of energy for New Hampshire .
He has joined with the governors of Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Virginia to urge federal regulators to make licensing decisions by next spring about the Vineyard Wind project off Cape Cod.