The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has announced a voluntary deal with the utility, PSEG Fossil, that calls for a 15 reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants in the state and a US$1.5 million grant to NJDEP to help develop landfill gas projects.NEWARK, New Jersey, US, 2002-01-24 [SolarAccess.com] The grant will develop projects that recover and productively use methane gas from landfills. Methane has a global warming potential that is 21 times greater than CO2, and landfill methane has the potential to become a viable renewable energy resource for the state. Under terms of the agreement, PSEG 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 megawatt-hour to 1,450 pounds per MWh by 2005. “This agreement, combined with New Jersey’s 15 percent green power electricity purchase, the $358 million societal benefits program, and our Silver & 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,” says NJDEP commissioner Bob Shinn. The state’s purchase of green power from renewables facilities is the largest government purchase in the United States and reduces annual CO2 emissions by 46,000 tons. The $358 million societal benefits program subsidizes the capital costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology. The Silver & Gold Track Program provides incentives for companies that commit to reducing GHG emissions by 3.5 percent below 1990 levels. PSEG will achieve the CO2 reduction primarily through its program of replacing older electric generating equipment with new art technology. The company has 1,700 MW of natural gas cogeneration facilities under construction in New Jersey and will retire 400 MW of oil-fired capacity. PSEG Fossil is a subsidiary of PSEG Power, an independent power producer, and an affiliate of Public Service Electric & Gas, New Jersey’s oldest and largest electric and gas delivery utility.