About the Marine Energy Toolkit

The Marine Energy (formerly marine hydrokinetic energy [MHK]) Environmental Toolkit for Permitting and Licensing effort seeks to increase regulators’ and developers’ understanding of Marine Energy projects and their potential environmental effects to reduce the amount of time to permit and decrease costs to develop Marine Energy projects. The Toolkit compiles and distills existing environmental, spatial, regulatory, and scientific data into one web-based platform. The current state–of-science on key topics associated with Marine Energy permitting is synthesized in the Toolkit, with live links to existing resources. It is designed to complement other DOE efforts such as the Portal and Repository for Information on Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMRE). A series of workshops were held with state and federal regulators and developers to provide input on the functionality of and information contained within the Toolkit, as well as create buy-in with the use of the Toolkit in the Marine Energy permitting and licensing process.

The Toolkit has four major components, integrated into one web-based platform, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Marine Energy permitting process:

  1. Data Catalog & Mapper. Relevant spatial environmental datasets (e.g., MarineCadastre) provide the ability to identify overlapping species, habitats, and human uses for a proposed development area, similar to OceanReports.

  2. Guidelines and Flowcharts. General guidelines and flowcharts for permitting are described, similar to RAPID.

  3. Searchable Documents. Documents relevant to projects, precedent, and mitigation are searchable through the Tethys Knowledge Base or FERC eLibrary.

  4. Engagement and Communication. Community engagement with a focus on communication and outreach between regulators, subject matter experts, stakeholders, and developers.


The mission of the Marine Energy (formerly MHK) Environmental Toolkit for Permitting and Licensing Project is to create a one-stop-shop for the Marine Energy community to access, review, and compile relevant regulatory, spatial, and academic information to increase the efficiency of the Marine Energy permitting and licensing process.

The project has four main objectives:

  1. Distill scientific knowledge into an Assessment Framework and Status Reports.

  2. Develop an easily accessible online Marine Energy Environmental Permitting Toolkit.

  3. Conduct in-person meetings and webinars with relevant regulators from federal and state agencies as well as developers to share and gather input on the Toolkit and to share expert understanding of potential effects and state-of-the-science for Marine Energy projects.

  4. Pilot test the Toolkit and gather lessons learned from the permitting process.


This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and was selected as a winner under Federal Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001837 Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Advancement and Data Dissemination Topic Area 3: Dissemination of Environmental Data and Analyses to Facilitate the Marine Energy Regulatory Process.


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