Each state directs its own strategy for investing RGGI proceeds in programs that benefit consumers and build a clean energy economy. Below are just a few examples of individuals, companies and cities that have benefited from energy efficiency, renewable energy and job training programs funded with RGGI proceeds.
Thanks in part to an investment from the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance Investment Authority (CEFIA), the town of Cromwell has installed over 300 kilowatts (kW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity at its elementary and middle schools — a 181 kW system at Edna C. Stevens Elementary School and a 166 kW system at Cromwell Middle School. The town of Cromwell used a CEFIA grant of $850,000, partially funded by RGGI proceeds, to pay for the $1,882,061 required to purchase and install the PV solar systems.
Delaware Builds State's First Utility-Scale Solar PV Facility with RGGI
The Dover SUNPark is Delaware's first utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) facility. The PV facility is located on 103 acres in Dover, Delaware and has a nameplate capacity of 10 MW. The SUNPark creates enough energy to power 1,500 Delaware homes. The construction of the Dover SUNPark employed 42 people a week over a 30 week construction project schedule, with the majority of jobs being filled by local Delawareans. The project uses state-of-the-art SunPower E20 solar panels, one of the most efficient panels on the market today. To further increase the efficiency of the project SunPower tracker technology was also installed on each of the panels. SunPower tracker technology allows the panels to follow the sun's movement, thereby increasing sunlight captured by 25 percent.
A More Efficient Cold Storage System at Wyman's of Maine
Wyman's of Maine is a family-owned company with expertise in growing and marketing wild blueberries. Over the course of four generations, the company has perfected the science of fresh freezing fruit to maintain optimum flavor and nutritional benefits.
During harvest, Wyman's processes 1.2 million pounds of blueberries a day. Using RGGI funds through Efficiency Maine's Large Customer Program, Wyman's upgraded its cold storage refrigeration system with a nearly $260,000 incentive toward the total project cost of $1.4 million. The new high-efficiency system consists of two compressors, one fitted with a variable frequency drive for more efficient part-time operation, and oversized condensers and evaporators which lower system pressure. An automated system now controls the equipment remotely, and the existing roll-up doors were replaced with more efficient air curtains that allow employees to move freely in and out of the cold-storage area. The air curtains help maintain optimum cold storage temperatures.
More Than A Million Dollars Saved Through RGGI-Funded Program
Since 2009, nearly 2,000 households have received energy efficiency upgrade services from Civic Works, an urban service corps dedicated to strengthening communities in and around Baltimore. The non-profit used EmPOWER Clean Energy Communities grant funding, provided by RGGI proceeds, to help finance the projects. Estimates suggest that these energy and cost-saving projects are likely to save more than 700 MWh annually, which is the equivalent of more than $1.5 million dollars saved over the life of the measures. This tremendous savings would not have been possible without Civic Works.
Combined Heat and Power at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) now meets a majority of its Worcester campus' electrical heating and cooling demands through its onsite power plant. In 2012, the University expanded its existing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant by installing an additional 7.5 MW "Topping Cycle" solar combustion gas turbine/generator. This high-efficiency CHP system includes a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) that converts waste heat from the combustion turbine exhaust into steam, which is then used to generate additional electricity and heating. The steam is also used to generate chilled water from steam driven chillers for cooling. As a result, the expansion of the central utility plant has increased the university's electrical generation capacity from 10 MW to 17.5 MW, and the efficiency of the expanded plant has increased about 15 percent.
More Efficient Weatherization of Manufactured Homes Save Time and Money
It's a simple goal: Make weatherization more like an assembly line and less like an artisan's workshop. The NH Community Loan Fund and the state's five Community Action Agencies achieved that goal by weatherizing 382 homes in 37 resident-owned manufactured housing communities.
A $2 million grant from New Hampshire's Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund leveraged a $600,000 U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program grant and about $1 million in state Systems Benefit Charge funds. Using these funds, the Community Action Agencies trained crews statewide in how to weatherize manufactured homes while taking advantage of "close proximity production": moving from home to home within a single manufactured-housing community until all of the eligible homes were improved.
Homegrown Hydrogen Gas Recycling Technology Helps Reduce GHG Emissions
New York State is using RGGI proceeds to help H2Pump LLC, based in Latham, New York, commercialize high-tech, energy-saving equipment that recycles hydrogen used in industrial processes, thus significantly reducing the use of petroleum and subsequent GHG emissions from hydrogen production and transport. In many industrial processes, including metal heat-treating and semiconductor fabrication, hydrogen is used to create a specialized atmosphere for chemical processes and is released into the atmosphere after a single use. The hydrogen provides an oxygen-free atmosphere that enhances productivity and product quality. The manufacturing of that hydrogen, however, requires petroleum products, as does the transportation of the hydrogen to manufacturing facilities.
Rhode Island School Saves Energy with Efficiency Upgrades
In 2012, a public school signed up for National Grid's lighting and controls energy efficiency program in order to implement several lighting energy efficiency upgrades. When installed, these lighting upgrades resulted in a 15,000,000 kWh of electricity energy savings for the school. The total cost of upgrades was $680,606 of which $225,681 was paid for through National Grid's energy efficiency incentives program. The remaining $454,925 were loaned to the school under the RGGI supported Large Business Revolving Loan Fund. The school is scheduled to pay back this loan using a zero percent On Bill Financing mechanism within a period of 24 months.
Roxbury turns adversity into opportunity
In 2011, the historic Roxbury Community Hall suffered extensive damage in Tropical Storm Irene. Rather than simply restoring the hall to its original state, the town's energy committee decided to take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild, and renovate the building in a way that would ensure maximum energy efficiency and financial sustainability for years to come.
From air sealing and insulation to moisture remediation throughout, no corner of the building was left untouched. The most notable improvements came from separating the second floor, used only for storage, from the conditioned spaces below. Efficiency Vermont worked with the Roxbury Energy Committee and EnergySmart of Vermont, providing technical expertise and overseeing quality control throughout the rebuilding process..