with ecosystem services (e.g., foundation and cable costs, commercial and recreational fisheries costs, environmental cost). They are based on an explicit cost optimization approach and extend the traditional optimization of tangible costs to the intangible costs associated with the ecosystem services constraints (Oumeraci et al., 2009). Such approaches were recently applied in Denmark to the Middleground wind farm (Rhétore et al., 2011) and in Rhode Island via the Special Area Management Plan (Grilli et al., submitted 2012).

Incorporating MHK Resource Assessments into Ocean Planning

Each of the MHK resource assessments was required to create a GIS database, and most have included information related to the theoretical and technical resource identified in the assessment. Incorporating these databases into the variety of existing spatial decision support tools allows the MHK resource to be viewed in the context of other economic and ecological uses, such as shipping channels or areas associated with critical habitats. This information would be helpful to prioritize research that enables multiple uses and mitigates potential user conflicts, although it would not be sufficient for quantifying the practical resource base.


Site-specific analyses will be needed to identify the constraints and trade-offs necessary to reach the practical resource. The site-specific, practical MHK resource is likely to be substantially less than assessment group estimates of the theoretical or technical resource. Although theoretical and technical MHK resource assessments are useful for prioritization and planning, site-specific filters will be needed for useful estimates of the practical resource. This chapter lists a selection of considerations that investors, developers, regulatory or permitting agencies, and the public are likely to weigh in making decisions about MHK site placement, permitting, and installation.

An estimate of the practical resource base and its geographical distribution is necessary for determining the potential MHK contribution to U.S. electricity generation. GIS resources generated by the DOE assessments, when completed, will assist stakeholders, investors, and regulators best fit MHK energy development into the regional ocean or riverine environment.

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