Entergy purchases greenhouse gas offsets
by Wally Northway
Published: January 25,2010
NEW ORLEANS — Entergy Corporation has purchased 100,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions offsets as part of its sustainability efforts and its ongoing commitment to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The offsets are generated by capturing and combusting methane at a wastewater treatment facility in Texas. The methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 21 times more damaging than carbon dioxide, would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere. Instead, the captured methane will be flared or used to displace natural gas, providing an incremental environmental benefit through reduced consumption of fossil fuel.
Entergy purchased the offsets from Blue Source, LLC, a North American climate change offset portfolio that has more publicly registered third-party verified greenhouse gas offsets than any other company in the country. The project represents a collaborative community effort to reduce greenhouse gases and build a carbon market infrastructure.
“The world is looking to the United States to lead in the climate change effort,” said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy chairman and chief executive officer. “Entergy, in turn, is playing a leadership role by voluntarily acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have a CO2 emission rate that is in the lowest quartile in the country for major power plant owners. In addition, we’ve continued to reduce our net emissions by taking actions on our system and participating in offset programs.”
Originally certified by the Voluntary Carbon Standard, which is known for its high-quality offset criteria, and listed on the Markit Environmental Registry, the offsets were re-verified to the American Carbon Registry Standard, delisted from Markit and reissued on the American Carbon Registry. The transaction marks the first time in North America where multiple carbon registry programs have worked together to manage offset project accounting. The ACR, which is where Entergy manages its emission reductions accounting, is the first and largest voluntary carbon registry in the United States.
“Entergy’s involvement in this project signifies that companies are increasingly interested in purchasing high-quality offsets that represent real environmental benefits,” said John Kadyszewski, director of the American Carbon Registry.
The offset transaction, purchased through Entergy’s dedicated Environmental Initiatives Fund, is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to seek sustainable environmental solutions to its business. Established in 2001, Entergy’s Environmental Initiatives Fund is dedicated to strengthening the company’s clean energy portfolio, driving greater energy efficiency and actively participating in greenhouse gas offset markets. Entergy was the first U.S. utility to voluntarily enact a plan to stabilize its greenhouse gas emissions and is committed to reduce such emissions to 20 percent below 2000 levels through 2010.
“While our voluntary commitment is significant, volunteerism alone will not be enough,” said Leonard. “The passage of comprehensive climate change legislation that would put a price on carbon and provide the certainty necessary to accelerate research and development on key technologies is essential. No one is suggesting this will be free, but delay carries the highest risk of all.”
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