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The Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations Initiative

The public is invited to submit comments on the proposed Canada Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations, which were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, on February 24, 2024.

Comments on the proposed regulations must be submitted by Monday, March 25, 2024 and can be submitted directly on the Gazette webpage.

Pre-publication of proposed regulations provides interested groups, individuals, and all Canadians with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed regulations. All comments received will be considered by governments in finalizing the regulations.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations (ORER) Initiative is led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to develop modern safety and environmental protection regulations that will apply to site assessment, construction, operation and decommissioning and abandonment activities related to renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s federal offshore areas.

Participate by providing feedback

Government, stakeholder and Indigenous engagement is a key priority.  Engagement sessions and comment periods have occurred at each phase of the ORER Initiative timeline. NRCan is open to hosting additional sessions upon request. Please send an email to NRCan Offshore Renewables if you are interested in participating and revisit this page for updates.


Technical Requirements Paper: Pre-engagement on technical requirements

NRCan drafted a technical requirements paper to detail to government, stakeholder and Indigenous participants the proposed requirements that will form the basis of future regulations. The requirements are focused on ensuring the future regulations are comprehensive and enforceable, follow the highest standards and are flexible enough to respond to a rapidly changing sector and are divided into the following Parts:

  1. General Requirements
  2. Site Assessment Activities Requirements
  3. Transportation, Construction, Installation and Commissioning Activities Requirements
  4. Operations and Maintenance Activities Requirements
  5. Decommissioning, Repowering, and/or Life Extension Activities Requirements

The paper facilitated early feedback that was considered and incorporated, where appropriate, into the proposed Regulations.


Read the Summary Paper
(PDF, 982 KB)

Discussion Paper: Pre-engagement on general approach

NRCan drafted a discussion paper to provide an overview of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) projects and NRCan’s proposed approach to regulating these activities prior to engaging on the proposed technical requirements of the regulations. The paper covers the following topics:

  • Lifecycle overview of ORE projects and principle considerations to safety and the environment
  • Proposed guiding principles for the proposed regulations
  • Proposed regulatory components to be addressed in the proposed regulations
  • Project timelines

The paper facilitated early feedback that was considered and incorporated, where appropriate, in the proposed technical requirements. Please find a summary of the comments provided on the discussion paper.

Regulating offshore renewable energy in Canada

Offshore renewable energy technologies produce renewable energy from wind, waves,tides, ocean currents, offshore solar, underwater geothermal resources, marine biomass, and the temperature differential between surface water and the seabed.

Canada has strong offshore renewable energy resources that represent untapped potential to further decarbonize Canada’s electricity supply while stimulating economic opportunities for coastal provinces, territories and communities.

The ORER Initiative will ensure that operational safety and environmental protection regulations are in place to enable the development of Canada’s offshore renewable projects.

How will we implement new regulations

We are proposing to use a combination of management-based and outcome-based regulatory approach to ensure the regulations require the use of best industry practices over time as they evolve and encourage innovation in order to increase safety and environmental protection while reducing costs.

The initiative will build on Canada’s experience in regulating other sectors, such as offshore oil and gas, and incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions with established regulatory frameworks and experience.

Who is involved?

NRCan is leading the initiative. The Canada Energy Regulator, as the lifecycle regulator responsible for enforcing these future regulations, supports the initiative and provides technical expertise.

NRCan will work to ensure the development of these regulations is coordinated with coastal provinces and territories to ensure they can serve as a model in any potential future joint management arrangements for offshore renewable energy projects.

Why implement new regulations?

The regulations will support Part 5 – Offshore Renewable Energy Projects and Offshore Power Lines - of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which came into force in August 2019. This legislation enables the Canada Energy Regulator to review and authorize activities related to offshore renewable energy in Canada’s offshore areas. These activities could include:

  • Site characterization activities, such as, resource surveys, geoscience and geotechnical studies, and environmental surveys; and,
  • Construction, certification, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of offshore renewable energy facilities and offshore power lines

The regulations will help the offshore renewable energy industry in Canada achieve the highest possible standards for operational safety and environmental protection while promoting competitiveness and innovation, and keeping administrative red tape low for industry.


Pre-engagement on general approach (Discussion paper)
Fall 2020

Pre-engagement on technical requirements and policy intentions
Winter 2022

Pre-publication of the ORER in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette for public comments
February 2024

Final Publication of ORER / Entry Into Force

Contact us

At NRCan Offshore Renewables for more information about the process

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