Entergy Helps New York Avoid Nearly 35,000 Tons of Greenhouse Gases

The air in New York just got a little cleaner. Entergy Corp. has purchased 34,812 tons of greenhouse gas reduction credits from New York's largest non-hazardous solid waste facility.

The credits were generated from the capture and destruction of methane, a byproduct of waste decomposition. Seneca Meadows Inc., owns and operates the waste facility, which is located in Waterloo, N.Y., and manages an average of 6,000 tons of waste per day. SMI captures methane from its waste through a highly engineered collection system at their facility.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for decades, if not captured and controlled. Compared to carbon dioxide, methane has a global warming potential 20 times greater than CO2.

Entergy's purchase results in the prevention of nearly 35,000 tons of CO2 equivalent – a measurement that equates the global warming potential of all greenhouse gases into the lowest common denominator. Preventing 35,000 tons CO2(e) from reaching the atmosphere is equal to taking more than 6,000 vehicles off the road for a year.

"Entergy is dedicated to improving the environment in all the communities where we operate," said Rick Smith, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities. "We've made it our responsibility to contribute to a clean environment not only by generating safe, secure and reliable nuclear energy, such as we do at our James A. Fitzpatrick and Indian Point nuclear plants here in New York, but also through participation in innovative greenhouse gas offset projects."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Association, municipal solid waste landfills are the second-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. However, SMI has taken a proactive approach to gas collection with a high efficiency, negative pressure system which is constructed in an as-you-go design.

"Like Entergy, Seneca Meadows prides itself on its commitment to being a good neighbor and to its environmental education and stewardship," said Tom Hasek, SMI's environmental manager. "We believe partnerships of this nature show real leadership in reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

The greenhouse gas credits were purchased through Entergy's dedicated Environmental Initiatives Fund and registered through Winrock International's nonprofit American Carbon Registry, a voluntary offset program with strong standards for environmental integrity. Environmental Capital LLC, a New York-based carbon credit advisory firm, facilitated project development and registration, as well as brokered the transaction.

"ACR is pleased to provide a transparent framework for companies like Entergy and Seneca Meadows to quantify and transact high-quality, verified emissions reductions," said Mary Grady, director of business development for American Carbon Registry. "Our mission is to catalyze markets to improve the environment, and this transaction is a perfect example of the important contributions voluntary carbon market participants make towards that objective."  

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.