Acciona (ANA.MC) announced that the company's Red Hills Wind Farm is the first in the U.S. to be validated and registered under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), and listed on APX's VCS Carbon Registry. Red Hills is a wind farm built in Oklahoma, a state with no RPS, and therefore no possibility for generating compliance RECs.
The VCS Program provides a global standard for approval of credible voluntary offsets. TerraPass has contracted to purchase a portion of the Voluntary Carbon Units (VCU) from the Red Hills project, which it will retire on behalf of its customers. Using the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology for renewable energy projects, Red Hill's wind power is calculated to displace 0.67 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) for each megawatt-hour produced.
Acciona's Red Hills Wind Farm is the first U.S. renewable energy project to be validated and registered according to the same methodology which governs renewable energy projects registered under the Kyoto Protocol's flexibility mechanisms.
"In the current business climate, creating alternatives for utilizing all the renewable attributes of our projects is key to our success," said Peter Duprey, CEO, Acciona Energy North America. "By leveraging our knowledge of the carbon markets in other countries and having our local team applying it in the US market, we have opened another avenue for business entities to contribute to reducing their carbon footprint. We are very proud to bring the internationally recognized VCS certification to the U.S. renewable energy market and encourage other wind producers to do the same."
The VCS was developed to standardize and lend credibility to the voluntary offset market. Specifically, the VCS has created a trusted and tradable voluntary offset credit, the Voluntary Carbon Unit (VCU). Accreditation from the VCS ensures a clear chain of ownership over voluntary offsets and prevents them from being used twice.
"TerraPass customers tell us that they want their money to support renewable energy projects and now we have a great VCS wind project in Acciona's Red Hills Wind Farm," said Erin Craig, CEO of TerraPass. "We're proud that the carbon reductions from Red Hills Wind Farm will be added to our high quality portfolio of U.S. carbon offset projects."
Craig added: "TerraPass specifically seeks projects to fund where operations have shown good practices and avoided negative impacts. The Acciona Red Hills Wind Farm used numerous environmental surveys to ensure effective conservation strategies were implemented in the construction and operation of the project, making it a good fit for the TerraPass portfolio."
The 123 MW Red Hills Wind Farm is the first wind power project entirely developed and installed by Acciona in the state of Oklahoma, with an investment of $252 million. It was commissioned in spring 2010 and consists of 82 Acciona Windpower 1.5-MW turbines. Red Hills can generate enough clean energy to supply more than 40,000 U.S. homes.
Acciona Energy (www.acciona-na.com) has a major presence in clean technologies, as developer and services provider. In wind power it has installed 7,573 MW, owned by the company and other companies, and it produces wind turbines using proprietary technology. As of September 30, 2009, the company had installed 115 MW of concentrating solar power plants--with additional capacity under construction and development--and 115 MW of photovoltaic power. It also owns and operates 910 MW in hydro power stations and three biomass plants (33 MW). In biofuels, it produces biodiesel from vegetable oils and bioethanol from wine-surplus alcohol.
In Related News...
Carbon offset retailers and brokers have seen increased interest in and demand for voluntary carbon credits this month, particularly from the United States. Read the Reuters story at the link below.