MA – RI Area of Mutual Interest (AMI)
On July 26th, 2010, Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (MA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining how the two states will work together to coordinate the development of offshore wind projects in an “Area of Mutual Interest” (AMI) in Rhode Island Sound. The AMI is located in 400 square miles of federal waters, beginning 12 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard and extending 20 miles westward into Rhode Island Sound (see map).
The MOU notes that any offshore wind projects in the AMI must be approved by the governors of both states, and that economic benefits must be shared by both states. The MOU also says that MA and RI will collaborate on an economic development study that identifies the costs and benefits of offshore wind development in the AMI. Each state has the authority to apply state and local permitting laws to development in the AMI as applicable.
The Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), developed by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, will be used to guide the development of offshore wind projects in the AMI. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will be incorporated in the SAMP process as a formal stakeholder.