Maine's RGGI brings in close to $2.5 million for energy efficiency and job creation

The state has earned a total of $26,039,762.34 since the program began.

The ten states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, today announced the results of its 11th quarterly auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances. The auction held Wednesday, March 9th, yielded $2,495,557.89 for Maine.

The state has earned a total of $26,039,762.34 since the program began.

The RGGI states have put in place the infrastructure for a reliable, secure North American carbon market,” said David Littell, a Commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. Board of Directors. “The RGGI auctions continue to provide power plants with the carbon allowances they need, and states will continue to invest millions from the RGGI auctions for energy bill savings, new jobs and improved business competitiveness.”

States are investing proceeds from the RGGI auctions, now more than $860.9 million, in programs to save energy consumers money, create jobs and make businesses more competitive.

Maine is investing a portion of its RGGI proceeds to implement large-scale energy efficiency projects in commercial and industrial facilities. Irving Forest Products in Dixfield, Maine and Moose River Lumber in Jackman, Maine are just two of 19 companies that received RGGI-funded grants from Efficiency Maine’s Large Projects Grant Program in 2010.

Together, the sawmills are investing more than $1.5 million to enhance long-term viability through energy efficiency. According to Susan Coulombe, divisional manager at Irving Forest Products, the project will enable the Dixfield sawmill to produce 25 percent of its electricity on site, saving enough money to sustain 235 jobs. Moose River Lumber anticipates adding at least three jobs while retaining the 66 full-time and 5 part-time workers currently employed.

The next RGGI CO2 auction is scheduled for June 8, 2011.