RGGI Auction Yields Maine $769k for Investment In Energy Efficiency, Job Creation
June 10, 2011
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson email@example.com/592-0427 (cell) or Patricia Aho, Maine DEP Deputy Commissioner firstname.lastname@example.org/287-2811
AUGUSTA — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment toward energy efficiency efforts in Maine has been sparked by this week’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction.
Maine yielded $769,092 of the $25.5 million in investment created by the proceeds from the10-state cap-and-trade collaborative’s 12th auction of carbon credits. That money will be managed by the Efficiency Maine Trust to fund programs to improve energy efficiency, accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies and provide direct assistance to energy consumers.
30 percent of the carbon allowances available in the auction were sold, going to the 25 winning entities whose bids ranging from $1.89 to $7.40 per ton. Electric generators and their corporate affiliates purchased 91 percent of the current control period allowances sold.
RGGI affects only fossil fuel-fired electricity generating units having a rated capacity equal to or greater than 25 megawatts. There are six facilities in Maine mandated to purchase carbon credits through RGGI to offset their emissions, though other entities/individuals can choose to purchase credits, either as an investment or because of a desire to do environmental good or as part of a corporate environmental policy.
Since RGGI’s start, Maine has hauled in $26.8 million of the $886.4 million total, the majority of which is invested to save energy consumers money, create jobs and make businesses more competitive.
“We’re so pleased with how the monies in Maine are strategically spent to create a cleaner future by reducing harmful emissions while at the same time, ensuring the jobs of today are being retained and the ones of tomorrow are being created,” said Maine Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Comissioner, Pattie Aho, who represents the state on the RGGI Board of Directors. “RGGI continues to be paying off for both Maine’s environment and our economy.”
In Maine, RGGI proceeds are being invested to implement large-scale energy efficiency projects in commercial and industrial facilities. Sappi Fine Paper’s Somerset Mill in Skowhegan is just one of 17 companies that have received RGGI-funded grants from Efficiency Maine’s Large Projects Grant Program. As a result of the project, the mill is expected to save enough electricity annually to power 300 typical Maine households for a full year.
In Searsport, the GAC Chemical Corporation has received more than $300,000 to improve energy efficiencies at their manufacturing facility, resulting in employee retention and future growth thanks to the cost savings the comes from the new technology.
“The RGGI states have put a price on carbon to foster innovation in our region,” said David Littell, a commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and chair of the RGGI Board of Directors. “The RGGI auctions are continuing to drive large-scale investments in energy bill savings and improved business competitiveness.”
The next RGGI auction is scheduled for September 7.
About the Maine Department of Environmental Protection The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for protecting and restoring Maine's natural resources and enforcing the state's environmental laws. Legislative mandate directs DEP to prevent, abate and control the pollution of the air, water and land. The charge is to preserve, improve and prevent diminution of the natural environment of the State. The department is also directed to protect and enhance the public's right to use and enjoy Maine’s natural resources. The department administers programs, educates and makes regulatory decisions that contribute to the achievement of this mission. For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit www.maine.gov/dep.
About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 188 million short tons per year through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent. For more information, visit http://www.rggi.org.