Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a market-based cap and trade program among nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (RI, CT, DE, MA, ME, MD, NH, NY, VT) to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal gas that contributes to climate change. The program establishes a regional budget (cap) of CO2 allowances and each state's allocation of CO2 allowances under the budget. Each state promulgated regulations (CO2 Budget Trading Program and Allowance Distribution Rules) consistent with the Model Rule. These regulations require electric power generators with a capacity equal to or greater than 25 MWe (megawatt electrical), to surrender a tradable CO2 allowance for each ton of CO2 they emit. Through quarterly allowance auctions, emission allowances are purchased and States invest the proceeds from the auctions into energy efficiency and conservation, renewable non-carbon emitting energy technologies, cost-effective direct rate relief for consumers and direct rate relief for low-income consumers. In Rhode Island, the Office of Energy Resources with guidance from RIDEM determines the allocation and distribution of RGGI auction proceeds.
As required in the original Memorandum of Understanding, the participating states conducted a comprehensive program review in 2012. As a result of this review, amendments to RGGI, including revisions to the emissions cap have been incorporated into an Updated Model Rule released on February 7, 2013. In order to be consistent with the Updated Model Rule, RIDEM amended the Rhode Island Budget Trading Program Regulations (Nos. 46 & 47) effective December 25, 2013. (Decision for 2013 Amendment of Reg No.'s 46 & 47)
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which provides technical and administrative services to the Participating States. The RGGI website is a comprehensive clearinghouse for this regional program. The design and benefits of the program, auction-related information including materials, results, tracking, market monitor, and offsets can all be found on the RGGI website.
The following Rhode Island power plants participate in RGGI:
- Manchester Street Power Station
- RI State Energy Center
- Ocean State Power
- Pawtucket Power
- Tiverton Power