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Project comment response – April 5, 2011
All TerraPass projects undergo a public comment period while they are being evaluated for inclusion in our portfolio, so that the general public can provide feedback and ask questions. Below is TerraPass’s response to the comments received for the Cambria 33 Abandoned Coal Mine Methane Capture Project located near Ebensburg, PA.
This project’s comment period was open from March 7 to March 28, 2011. We publicized the open comment period in a blog post, including the blog summary email which was distributed to over 25,000 active recipients. We received six comments during this time.
Four of the comments were statements of general support for the project or for the technology underlying the project. For example:
“This is an excellent project for TerraPass. It combines a number of evident benefits in terms of reduction of a really troublesome gas – methane – and strong benefits in terms of reduction of reliance on the electrical grid with reasonably low environmental disbenefits, and is clearly high ranking in terms
of innovation. […] A great project.”
A fifth comment asked for more information about the VCS methodology and quantification protocol created for the project.
The sixth comment asked, “Would this project be financially viable without TerraPass money?” This was echoed in another comment which asked for more information about the economics of the project and the business plan with regard to carbon credits. When we engage with projects, we make sure that the project developer (in this case, Vessels Coal Gas) anticipated and required carbon funding to begin implementation of the project before we agree to purchase any carbon credits. In this case, the
expectation of carbon credit revenue was the primary condition for Vessels to secure financing for the project and begin construction. While we do expect that the carbon revenue stream for this project is smaller than the revenue from sale of electricity to the grid, expectation of carbon revenue was nevertheless critical to securing financing and ensuring a return acceptable to the project’s investors; TerraPass funds help the project developers realize this expected return.
Finally, one commenter asked why the project plant was abandoned, and what repairs were needed to bring the plant online. In this case, the project plant was built new at initiation of the coal mine gas-to-energy project in 2008. It was the mine that was abandoned, when it reached the end of its useful life in 1994.