NEW ENGLAND ELECTRIC SYSTEM COMPANIES BREAK NEW GROUND FOR CLEAN AIR
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The New England Electric System (NYSE: NES) (NEES) companies today launched NEESPLAN 3, one of the electric utility industry's most sweeping commitments to improve the environment. By the year 2000, the NEES companies plan to reduce net air emissions from their operations by an estimated 45 percent.
The NEES companies are also following the recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences and initiating cost-effective strategies to mitigate the effect of greenhouse gases that have been associated with global warming. To accomplish this, New England Power Company (NEP), the generation and transmission subsidiary of NEES, plans to solicit proposals for offset methods of reducing pollution. Specifically, NEP will test the public acceptance, technical and commercial feasibility of several offset strategies such as tree planting, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) recycling from refrigerators and air conditioners, methane recovery at coal mines, utilization of coal ash to produce concrete and enhancement of marine algae growth to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, NEP intends to initiate pilot projects in advanced renewable generation technologies such as advanced biomass, waste-to-energy, landfill gas, wind, and solar generation.
"NEESPLAN 3 sets three major goals for our System during the 1990s," said NEES President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Rowe. "First, to achieve continuous, measurable reduction of all our environmental impacts, beginning with a 45 percent reduction in our net air emissions.
"Second, to restore stability to our rates by keeping overall rate increases at or below inflation for the balance of the decade, while maintaining the average price of our product as the lowest among the major utilities in the three states NEES serves. We intend to demonstrate that environmental improvement is possible at affordable cost," continued Rowe.
"And, finally, to strengthen the diversity of our competitively processed resource mix by bringing additional non-utility generation into service, continuing our commitment to conservation and load management, and by using natural gas as a generating fuel," said Rowe.
The NEES companies plan to achieve its 45 percent reduction in net air emissions through a variety of strategies, including:
-- 11 percent from actions to comply with federal and state clean air legislation, ahead of schedule where possible;
-- 10 percent from using non-utility generation predominantly fired by natural gas. The NEES companies expect to have more than 900 MW of non-utility generation in service by the year 2000;
-- Nine percent from repowering the Manchester Street Station in Providence, R.I., to a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant;
-- Six percent from other new power sources entering service between 1990 and 2000, including the purchase of hydroelectric energy from Hydro-Quebec;
-- Four percent from continued conservation and loan management (C&LM) efforts. The NEES companies expect to eliminate the need for about 850 MW of supply resources by 2000 through C&LM; and
-- Five percent from actions beyond current commitments. The NEES companies intend to pursue initiatives to purchase greenhouse gas offsets and renewable generation.
"With this plan, NEES has taken a major step toward reducing air pollution and issued a serious response to greenhouse concerns," commented Doug Foy, executive director of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a Boston-based environmental group. "Just as NEES led the way in utility-sponsored energy conservation programs, they are developing another model with their environmental offset initiative. Clearly, this is the direction the country's electric utilities should be taking."
The NEES companies also announced the formation of an Environmental Collaborative that will assist the utility, develop and implement its new environmental strategies. The collaborative will include representatives from the NEES companies, the CLF, the New England Council, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NEES companies' customer advisory councils, and the National Consumer Law Center.
NEESPLAN 3 is the latest in a series of energy initiatives undertaken by the utility System following the original NEESPLAN in 1979 and NEESPLAN 2 in 1985. In response to the oil price shocks of the 1970s, the NEES companies reduced their reliance on oil from 78 percent to 22 percent through coal conversions. The conversions have saved the System's customers more than $300 million and reduced particulate emissions.
The NEES companies have also been leaders in the pursuit of non-utility generation and in the development and implementation of conservation and load management (C&LM) programs. They have the nation's largest C&LM program, measured as a percent of revenue.
NOTE: A complete Offsets Fact Sheet and other materials are available by contacting the numbers listed below.
/CONTACT: Christine Baratta or Janice Stickles of New England Electric System, 508-366-9011 (days), or 617-498-9880 (evenings)/
(NES) CO: New England Electric System ST: Massachusetts IN: OIL SU: DD-KM -- NE006 -- 2138 11/07/91 10:38 EST