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Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI)

This page is designed to assist developers of Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) with the design and planning of these projects in Alaska. The term OREI is used by the Coast Guard to describe any individual structure or apparatus placed in the navigable waters of the United States that creates electricity by using sources other than oil or gas. Examples include wind farms and hydrokinetic apparati such as buoys, wave turbines, or current turbines.

The Coast Guard oversees two aspects of OREI installations:

1. Reviewing the applicant's Navigation Safety Plan to determine if the installation will pose potential adverse impacts to the users of the waterway. This is accomplished by conducting a Risk Assessment. In Alaska, these Risk Assessments are conducted by the USCG Sector Waterways offices.

●   USCG Sector Anchorage is responsible for waterways north of Yakutat including interior      river systems.

●   USCG Sector Juneau is responsible for waterways south of and including Yakutat. This includes all of Southeast Alaska to the Canadian border

2. Determining if the installation will require Private Aids to Navigation (PATON). PATON includes navigation lights and/or regulatory signs. These are used to warn mariners of the presence of the installation.

●   USCG District 17 Waterways Management Branch is responsible for PATON for the entire state of Alaska. See the PATON page for more information.

Public Information

The Coast Guard distributes navigation safety information to the maritime public regarding OREI in two ways:

  Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) Information is broadcasted on VHF and HF marine radio frequencies. The Coast Guards VHF coverage is limited on interior river systems.

 Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) Information is distributed in a PDF document available every Wednesday at the USCG NAVCEN website. Applicants are encouraged to use the weekly LNM to solicit comments from waterway users on proposed OREI installations.



Nautical Chart Example

The Coast Guard, working with in conjunction with NOAA, distributes updates and corrections for nautical charts. OREIs can be depicted on charts to inform mariners of their presence. In some cases a Limited Access Area, 33 CFR 165,  may be established in the vicinity of an OREI to prohibit or restrict vessels from operating near an OREI. The establishment of a Limited Access Area will be evaluated on a case by case basis.    

Additional Information

1. FERC White Paper addressing Hydrokinetic Pilot Project Licensing Procedures.

2.  OREI's Potential Navigation Hazards and Mitigation Measures brochure.

3. Guidance on the Coast Guard's roles and responsibilities for Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI). Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular NO. 02-07

For information about OREI PATON located within the 17th Coast Guard District, contact the PATON Manager.

Commander (dpw)                                                                                                                     US Coast Guard District 17
PO Box 25517
Juneau, Alaska 99802-5517
Attn: PATON Manager
Phone (907) 463-2272
Fax (907) 462-2273


For information about Risk Assessments on OREI's located within the 17th Coast Guard District contact the Sector Waterways office.

Commander (spw)                                                                                                                         US Coast Guard Sector Anchorage
510 L. St. Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                      Phone (907) 271-6700 option 5
Fax (907) 271-6751

Commander (spw)                                                                                                                          US Coast Guard Sector Juneau
709 W. 9th Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                           Phone (907) 463-2980
Fax (907) 463-2842

Floating Aid Icon Report all discrepancies with marine aids to navigation to the nearest Coast Guard Sector!

Sector Anchorage (907) 271-6769
Sector Juneau (907) 463-2980

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Last Modified 9/21/2016