About the Marine Energy Environmental Toolkit

The Marine Energy Environmental Toolkit for Permitting and Licensing 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 leverages and builds on the exceptional work of marine energy researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. The Toolkit compiles and distills 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, from a variety of sources, with live links to existing resources.

The Toolkit is currently being maintained and additional functionality is being assessed and implemented as part of the Portal and Repository for Information on Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMRE).

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. Reporting Tool. Components 1-3 can be compiled based on a user’s queries for archival and sharing with project stakeholders.


The Mission of the Marine Energy Environmental Toolkit for Permitting and Licensing is to create a one-stop shop for the marine energy community to access, review, and compile relevant regulatory and spatial information and available literature 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.


These web services were prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or an agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.