RGGI report: Program generates $23.9M for R.I. from 2015-2017 at auction

THE 450-MEGAWATT Manchester Street power plant in Providence, above, burns natural gas and must buy RGGI permits to cover its emissions. / COURTESY DOMINION ENERGY
THE 450-MEGAWATT Manchester Street power plant in Providence, above, burns natural gas and must buy RGGI permits to cover its emissions. / COURTESY DOMINION ENERGY

PROVIDENCE – A new report from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative said that the program generated $23.9 million in revenue for Rhode Island from 2015-2017.

The report was conducted by Analysis Group, an economic, financial and strategy consultant group on the most recent three-year compliance period of the greenhouse gas program.

In all three three-year compliance periods of the program so far, combined with the fourth-period allowances sold so far, the state has earned $60.5 million from the RGGI auctions.

The RGGI program was designed to reduce carbon emissions by auctioning off carbon emissions as a carbon-control program. Its members for the latest three-year compliance period were Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

- Advertisement -

The report said that Rhode Island used its RGGI proceeds primarily on energy efficiency in the third compliance period, with $10.7 million dedicated to the effort. The state also spent $9.2 million on direct bill assistance. Approximately $4.9 million was dedicated to renewable energy investment in the state while program administration costs accounted for $3.4 million. Lesser amounts were spent on clean technology research and development ($300,000), and greenhouse gas programs ($100,000).

In total, Rhode Island spent $28.8 million in RGGI revenue in the third compliance period.

The nine participating states generated approximately $901 million at auction for the third period. Massachusetts accounted for $154.3 million each year in auction revenue, while New York had the highest gross revenue from the program at $345.1 million.

In the first and second compliance periods RGGI generated $952 million and $983 million at auction, respectively.

The review estimated that RGGI had a $1.4 billion net positive impact from 2015 to 2017 for the region. The program was also estimated to have created 14,500 job-years in that time, with positive job-year additions in every participating state.

The program’s cumulative net economic impact on the area for all three compliance periods to date was estimated to be $4 billion.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.