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Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations Initiative

This regulatory initiative is part of the 2021-2023 Forward Regulatory Plan.

Enabling Acts

Canadian Energy Regulator Act

Description

On 28 August 2019, the National Energy Board became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) as a result of the coming into force of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act). New regulations and updates to existing regulations made under the National Energy Board Act are being implemented through a phased approach.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations (ORER) initiative will support the implementation of Part 5 – Offshore Renewable Energy Projects and Offshore Power Lines of the CER Act by developing modern safety and environmental protection regulations for offshore renewable energy (ORE) projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore areas. Such projects include exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning activities. ORE technologies produce renewable energy from wind, waves or tides.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

The Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations will provide clear safety and environmental protection requirements for future ORE project proponents to protect people and the environment throughout the lifecycle of those projects, and to provide certainty to proponents on what information and outcomes are expected when working through project authorizations.

There are currently no existing projects in Canada’s offshore areas. The proposed regulations are not expected to involve significant impacts on international trade or investment.

Other stakeholders and groups that could be impacted (directly or indirectly) by future offshore renewable energy projects may also have interest in the proposed regulations. These include fishing groups, Indigenous groups, other users of the sea, environmental groups, and coastal communities.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Natural Resources Canada will work closely with interested provinces and territories to ensure they are kept up-to-date on the development of the proposed regulations. The regulations made under the CER Act will apply to ORE projects in Canada’s offshore areas. However, respecting the long history of federal-provincial collaboration in the joint management of energy resources in the offshore (e.g., laws establishing the Canada-Nova Scotia and Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Boards) this work does not preclude Canada and interested provinces or territories from exploring joint management approaches for ORE projects in the future. The regulations developed under the CER Act could serve as the basis for similar regulations under potential future offshore renewable energy joint management regimes.

There are no international regulatory cooperation efforts related to this proposal.

Consultations

Phase 1 of the ORER initiative engagement process is now closed. Information on this and other engagement opportunities will appear on the ORER webpage.

Phase 2 consists of pre-engagement on technical requirements that will form the basis of the regulations and is expected to occur sometime in Spring 2021.

Phase 3, the pre-publication of the ORER in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette for public comments, is expected to take place sometime in the Fall of 2022.

Further Information

For further information, please visit the ORER webpage or email us at nrcan.offshorerenewables-renouvelablesextracotieres.rncan@canada.ca.

Departmental Contact

For any questions related to this initiative, please contact us at nrcan.offshorerenewables-renouvelablesextracotieres.rncan@canada.ca.

Date First included in Forward Regulatory Plan

The item was added to the FRP on October 5, 2020, as part of ongoing updates to the Plan.

Consult NRCan’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by NRCan
  • further information on NRCan’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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