The money will be earmarked for energy conservation and clean energy programs and ventures. The revenue came from the seventh in a series of auctions of credits for power related carbon dioxide emissions held by the 10 state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was formed by states from Maine to Delaware seeking to cap and then reduce CO2 emissions while debate continued over the establishment of a national program.
The regional approach requires power plants to buy permits to release CO2 by the ton for each year’s operation.
Philip Cheery, a policy manager for Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said proceeds from the auctions must go to programs that benefit the public, such as energy efficiency programs.
“We intend to do a competitive solicitation for innovative ideas about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cheery. “We want to see the money going to actually reducing emissions, whether it’s an improvement at emission sources or sequestration of CO2 through various means like tree planting.”
Any power plant generating 25 megawatts or more of electricity from fossil fuels have to buy the credits.
Companies that meet limits, don’t have to buy credits and can sell any extra credits they may have, while those unable to meet control deadlines can purchase credits needed to cover excess emissions.
About 65 percent of the auction proceeds are earmarked for Delaware’s Sustainable Energy conservation and renewable energy programs.