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Project Financing & Economics: Allowances

Laura Vimmerstedt and Chandra Shah, National Renewable Energy Laboratory


The objectives for this presentation are to: describe market instruments for air pollution emissions reductions, describe the markets in which laboratory facilities may be able to participate, inform the audience of results of a pilot project on emissions trading at the EPA New England Regional Laboratory.


Newly operational regional emissions credit markets for nitrogen oxides included five state markets where energy efficiency and renewable energy set-asides may create trading opportunities for large energy users. The Federal Energy Management Program and the Environmental Protection Agency collaborated on a project to acquire and pursue a trade of emissions credits generated from energy efficiency and renewable energy at the EPA New England Regional Laboratory in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This presentation will describe the emissions credit markets and the results of that project.

Labs21 Connection:

The following elements of the Labs 21 Approach have the strongest relationship to this presentation.

  • Measure energy and water consumption and track emission reductions.
    These measurement and tracking activities are the fundamental building blocks that allow these projects to participate in emissions markets.
  • Evaluate on-site power generation, combined heat and power technologies, and renewable power purchases.
    These are some of the techniques that are eligible in some emissions markets.
    Promote energy and water efficiency efforts.
  • Laboratory participation in emissions markets encourages acknowledgement of the role of end users in energy efficiency efforts, brings the incentive of those markets to the end-user, and therefore could encourage greater energy efficiency.


Laura Vimmerstedt is a Senior Environmental Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Lab, where she focuses on the role that energy efficiency and renewable energy can play in addressing air quality issues. Her experience during her 8 years at the Lab includes work on environmental issues of advanced vehicle batteries, international programs to use advanced energy technologies for their environmental benefits, modeling of renewable electricity supply under environmental constraints, and market analysis of international opportunities for small geothermal power plants.

Chandra Shah is a Senior Project Leader with the Federal Energy Management Program Utility Team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She has worked on a variety of renewable electricity purchasing projects around the country. She assisted with the Environmental Protection Agency's 100% renewable purchase for their Richmond, California laboratory and helped coordinate the wind purchase initiative in Colorado that involves over 30 federal agencies. She is also one of the instructors for the Utility Financing course. Prior to coming to NREL, Ms. Shah worked at the NW Energy Coalition in Seattle where she chaired several work groups of the Washington State electricity restructuring task force and was involved in various utility proceedings. Her background also includes experience with US WEST and GE Aircraft Engines. She holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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