Connecticut Green Bank and its partners announced a carbon offset collaboration this week that is registered under the new methodology for electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. That methodology includes monitoring parameters to quantify emission reductions and also establishes default factors for the estimation of certain parameters for projects located in the US and Canada as an alternative to project-specific calculations.
“This is a partnership between innovators who are each working to secure a safer and healthier future for the communities they serve by addressing a key challenge in mitigating climate change – deploying charging infrastructure for electric vehicles,” said Bert Hunter, CT Green Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, in a press release. “We’re proud to debut this project as a scalable climate finance solution that – like the Green Bank itself – sources investment capital from private markets.”
The project design has been successfully validated under Verra’s internationally recognized Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program by third-party verification firm, SCS Global Services. Verra’s standards and frameworks vet environmental and sustainable development efforts, build their capacity, and drive large-scale investment to them to sustain and scale up their benefits.
What Are Carbon Offset Credit Projects?
Since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 (an extenuation of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the practice of offsetting carbon emissions has been long utilized by large corporations, businesses, and individuals alike. From purchasing carbon credits to making personalized payments to climate change projects in developing countries, carbon offsetting has been viewed as a viable option by many in the battle against global warming.
A green bank is an entity that accelerates the deployment of clean energy using limited public dollars to attract private capital investment in clean energy projects. In doing so, it makes clean energy more affordable and accessible to consumers. The Connecticut Green Bank is the first US green bank, and its promotes energy strategies to achieve cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development.
Carbon offset projects allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprints. According to TreeHugger, carbon offset programs reframe environmental footprints by paying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. These platforms have the capacity to connect users with important projects like reforestation efforts and renewable energy development in ways they might never have discovered otherwise.
In order to confront the climate crisis, the Connecticut Green Bank works by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. In this first example of an EV charger carbon offset credit multi-partner project, Green Bank partners may enroll their selected EV chargers to create carbon credits from their EV charger datasets, which opens private carbon capital as a new source of investment for EV charging. The result is a performance-based system where EV chargers earn funds based upon the amount of electricity dispensed to vehicles, factoring in the carbon intensity of the electricity used.
What Is The EV Charging Carbon Coalition Methodology For EV Charging Systems?
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program is the world’s most widely used voluntary GHG program. Over 1,600 certified VCS projects have collectively reduced or removed more than 500 million tons of carbon and other GHG emissions from the atmosphere.
Developers include the Climate Neutral Business Network and the EV Charging Carbon Coalition. The Climate Neutral Business Network seeks to maximize the value of climate neutral leadership – for companies, their customers, their communities, and the climate. The EV Charging Carbon Coalition (EVCCC) opens up access to the carbon capital markets for EV charging systems in order to strengthen their business case fundamentals and accelerate deployment.
Founding members include:
- Electrify America LLC
- EVgo Services LLC
- Connecticut Green Bank
- Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (including Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Palo Alto, NYC, Minneapolis, Vancouver BC, Sydney, Adelaide, AU)
VCS projects include a wide variety of technologies and measures which result in GHG emission reductions and removals. Projects are categorized by their sectoral scope, which range from renewable energy projects (such as wind projects) to land use projects (such as improved forest management projects). All VCS projects must complete a rigorous development and assessment process before registering with the VCS Program.
VCS projects are often a single unit of activity operating at a specific location, but the VCS Program also allows for grouped projects which are permitted to add new units of activity over time and across various locations. To get a better sense of the variety of real-world VCS projects, you can explore the VCS project database, which lists registered projects and projects pursuing registration.
Connecticut Green Bank Carbon Offset Partners
In this first example of an EV charger carbon offset credit multi-partner project, Connecticut Green Bank partners may enroll their selected EV chargers to create carbon credits from their EV charger datasets, which opens private carbon capital as a new source of investment for EV charging. The result is a performance-based system where EV chargers earn funds based upon the amount of electricity dispensed to vehicles, factoring in the carbon intensity of the electricity used.
The partnerships are unique due to the EV carbon emissions offset program. By expanding charging infrastructure and incentivizing increased uptake of EVs, decarbonizing the US economy by 2050 is more likely.
CT Green Bank’s expanding roster of project partners span sectors from electricity-powered transit buses to public destination charging stations and infrastructure.
- Volta: Designs, builds and operates extensive networks of free charging, located in the most convenient, most utilized, high traffic locations
- U-Go Stations: Pioneered early high-speed EV charger deployments
- Proterra: Leading U.S. manufacturer of electric buses and technology provider for commercial electric vehicles
- EV Structure Company: Among the earliest integrated services companies to install EV charging, and most recently introduced the first charging network to the largest Harley-Davidson outlet in Utah
With registered carbon credits, this validated project, once verified in mid-2021, is expected to bring in new funding from the carbon capital markets, which will increase the value proposition and accelerate the deployment of EV charging infrastructure in communities across the US.
Since its inception, the Connecticut Green Bank and its private investment partners have deployed over $1.9 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state. Projects recorded through FY 2019 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy. The Green Bank was among a coalition of companies collectively awarded an Innovative Partnership Certificate for methodology development at the 2019 Climate Leadership Conference, hosted by C2ES and The Carbon Registry.
[Update: U-Go Stations has been acquired by Blink Charging.]