NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 11, 2002 – The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and PSEG Fossil today announced a voluntary agreement that calls for a 15% reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions rate at in-state fossil-fueled power plants and a $1.5 million grant to NJDEP to assist in the development of landfill gas projects.
Under terms of the agreement, PSEG Fossil will reduce the aggregate CO2 emissions rate from all coal, natural gas, and oil-fired power plants it owns or operates in New Jersey from a 1990 baseline of 1,706 pounds per MWh to 1,450 pounds per MWh by 2005.
PSEG Fossil is a subsidiary of PSEG Power, an independent power producer, and an affiliate of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey’s oldest and largest electric and gas delivery utility.
“This agreement, combined with New Jersey’s 15% green power electricity purchase, the $358 million societal benefits program, and our Silver and Gold Track Program, will put us well on our way to realistically achieving our greenhouse gas reduction goals and cleaner air for all New Jersey residents,” said NJDEP Commissioner Bob Shinn.
Shinn said the state’s 15% annual green power purchase of electricity produced by renewable resources delivers 46,000 tons of annual CO2 emissions reductions and is the largest government green power purchase in the country. The $358 million societal benefits program subsidizes the capital costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. The Silver and Gold Track Program provides permit process incentives for companies that commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 3.5% below their 1990 levels.
PSEG Power President and Chief Operating Officer Frank Cassidy noted that PSE&G was an original signer of NJDEP’s April, 2000 Greenhouse Gas Initiative. “PSEG Fossil’s voluntary action we’re announcing today reflects ongoing support for NJDEP’s leadership in marshalling and coordinating efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We share Commissioner’s Shinn’s view that climate change is a real issue. We believe the electric power industry must play a role in addressing the problem, locally and nationally.
“The CO2 emissions rate agreement,” Cassidy said, “continues our company’s proud record of establishing and achieving aggressive voluntary performance targets that help New Jersey protect and enhance environmental quality.” He noted that PSEG established and reached a voluntary goal of cutting nitrogen oxide emissions 80% by the year 2000 and was the first energy company in the U.S. to enlist in the Clinton Administration’s Global Climate Challenge which called for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000.
“New Jersey,” Shinn said, “is the first state in the nation to set a specific goal for greenhouse gas reductions. The state’s Greenhouse Gas Action Plan identifies strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 3.5% below 1990 levels by the year 2005. Other states are following our lead in setting greenhouse gas reduction goals.” NJDEP formed a Climate Change Workgroup with representatives from other agencies, businesses and environmental communities. Industry, colleges, counties, and municipalities have been joining in this goal.
Cassidy said PSEG Fossil will achieve the CO2 emissions rate reduction primarily through continuing its program of replacing older, less efficient electric generating equipment with new, state-of-the art technology. The company has more than 1,700 megawatts of new, natural-gas fired combined cycle generating facilities – the cleanest and most efficient fossil-fueled technology available – under construction in New Jersey and has plans to retire more than 400 megawatts of older, oil-fired capacity.
The $1.5 million grant will be used by NJDEP to develop projects that recover and productively use methane gas from landfills. Landfill methane has the potential to become a viable renewable energy resource for the state. Methane that escapes to the atmosphere, however, acts as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Methane has a global warming potential 21 times greater than CO2.
PSEG Power is one of the largest independent power producers in the U.S. and has been a electric industry advocate for more stringent national power plant environmental standards to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and CO2.
PSEG Power and PSE&G are subsidiaries of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, a diversified energy and energy services company.