Crow Lake Wind Farm

Offset Program/Registry: Verified Carbon Standard

Estimated Annual Emission Reductions: 430,000 metric tons CO2

The Crow Lake Wind project is a zero emissions, grid-connected electricity generation source located on 36,000 acres in South Dakota. The commercial operation date of this project is February 1, 2011 and the entire project consists of 108 General Electric 1.5-megawatt turbines with a generating capacity of 162 megawatts (MW).

The electricity generated is provided to Basin Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC), a not-for-profit, wholesale electric generation and transmission cooperative based in North Dakota. BEPC provides electricity to 2.8 million customers across 135 rural distribution companies in 9 states (MT, MN, IA, SD, ND, CO, NM, NB, WY).

The Crow Lake Wind Farm is the largest wind project owned solely by a cooperative in the United States. Seven of the turbines located at the Crow Lakes project site are owned by a group of 600 local community investors, called the South Dakota Wind Partners, and one turbine has been sold to the Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell, S.D.

Mitchell Technical Institute uses the turbine as part of the school’s wind turbine technology program. This unique relationship allows the school to sell the turbine’s output to BEPC while allowing access for generations of students and engineers to gain hands-on technical experience.

Asorpar Colombian Reforestation

Offset Program/Registry: Verified Carbon Standard / Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard

Estimated Annual Emission Reductions: 58,000 metric tons CO2e

The Asorpar project is a community-based emission reduction project that focuses on the restoration of degraded areas and reforestation in the Orinoquia and Andean regions, two unconnected mountainous areas in northeast and northwest Colombia.

In areas that have been devastated by years of open cast alluvial gold mining, illegal coca plantations, and destructive livestock farming practices, this innovative forestry project supports permanent reforestation of native species and seeks to promote the sustainable management of forest resources.

As opposed to the common practice of reforestation through monoculture tree plantations, the Asorpar project focuses on the re-establishment of a rich forest ecosystem through a mixed native species approach. Twenty native tree species have already been planted in the 1,266 ha pilot area, leading to the return of another 117 secondary plant species and a multitude of animals. The project also led to the new habitat for endangered animals such as the mountain tapir, oncilla tiger cat, spectacled bear, and the critically endangered grey-bellied night monkey.

Local communities have also benefited from the socio-economic impacts of this project. About 150 jobs have been created to establish vital alternative livelihoods in land preparation, land planning, seedling propagation, planting and maintenance, forest protection and utilization and ecotourism in regions that have long depended on illegal and destructive activities. By introducing new, ecologically sensitive methods for battling mosquitos, the project will also work to reduce the commonly used practice of poisoning breeding ponds with oil – a practice that negatively affects community health and the local environment.

Support of this project will contribute to scaling impact to another 9,640 ha of land, expanding the total project area to 10,906 ha.

Rio Preto-Jacundà REDD+

Offset Program/Registry: Verified Carbon Standard / Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard

Estimated Annual Emission Reductions: 397,380 metric tons CO2e

The Rio Preto-Jacundà Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) project is an ongoing community-based emission reduction project located in a 94.3 ha extractive reserve in the Machado River Basin in the state of Rondônia, Brazil.

Located in the Amazonian ‘Arc of Deforestation,’ the project area faces pressures from squatters, illegal logging and the informal expansion of smallholder farms and ranches that has led to a 23% loss of forest cover since 2000. Apart from the detrimental effects on the environment, these external pressures also impinge on the resource rights of the rubber tapper community that has historically called this area home. Faced with the challenge of protecting their trees and preserving their traditional livelihood which involves the sustainable extraction of forest products, the Rio Preto-Jacundà community developed a multi-use management plan for the sustainable use of the extractive reserve.

This project supports the implementation of this plan, which aims to avoid the deforestation of at least 35 thousand ha over the duration of the project and provide community benefits to the 130 families that are directly affected by the project activities.

The community benefits of this project include: the potential for increased income generation through the development of agroforestry systems that produce high-value non-timber forest products; the improvement of housing and sanitary conditions; and the establishment of schools that provide child and adult learning services. Through the training of community members as health care agents, this project is also expected to provide significant improvements in community health by building capacity to monitor and control the most common and lethal diseases.

The avoided deforestation from this project will benefit the immense biodiversity found in the area.  The Machado River basin is home to 273 flora species and 787 fauna species, several of which are endangered, including the black-faced black spider monkey and the white-breasted antbird.

Hydrologic Ceramic Water Purifiers in Cambodia

The Hydrologic Ceramic Water Filter Production and Distribution Project in Cambodia is an ongoing Clean Development Mechanism project in the Kingdom of Cambodia that has been independently verified by The Gold Standard. As fuel use for boiling water in Cambodia predominantly comes from combustion of non-renewable biomass, project activity generates emission reductions through energy zero Water Purifiers that provide access to clean drinking water in rural households in Cambodia.

Each unit has been produced by Hydrologic Social Enterprise Ltd. and is shown to remove 99.99% of bacteria. Over the seven years crediting periods, Ceramic Water Purifiers will be provided to 900,000 to 1.7 million people across 168,000 to 315,000 households also contributing to job creation from dispersal and training on use.

In addition to supporting the UN Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, this project also reduces depletion of natural resources related to the cutting of trees, relieves female children and mothers of families from collecting firewood to boil water, improves indoor air quality to reduce risk of ill-health in women and children, reduces daily fuel costs on low-income regions and provides beneficial employment to local residents during the established distribution, monitoring and replacement phases of the project. The Project Design Document can be found here.

This is an emissions reduction project that has been sponsored by Sustainable Travel International

Verification: CDM Gold Standard Crediting Period: 2010 – 2017 Projected Annual Emission Reductions: 22,000

Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative

The carbon pollution generated from burning and clearing tropical forests is comparable to the greenhouse gas emissions from all of the world’s cars, trucks, and planes combined.  To combat this issue, the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative is protecting and restoring 450,000 acres of the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, thereby reducing tropical deforestation in the San Martín region of northern Peru – an area twice the size of New York City.

Conservation International is working together with the Peruvian Government, as part of the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative, to provide sustainable economic opportunities to local families in the area, while protecting a critical watershed that supports the 240,000 inhabitants of the Alto Mayo Basin, and safeguarding the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, home to over 1,000 unique species, including rare birds, amphibians, plants, orchids and the Yellow-tailed wooly monkey that are native to Peru.

The Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative is addressing the main causes of deforestation in the area by working directly with local communities. Over 200 families have pledged not to cut down the Alto Mayo’s trees, in return for agricultural training and other benefits, such as educational materials and medical supplies. One example of the Initiative’s progress in the community, thus far, has been technical assistance and training in organic coffee production by qualified professionals for coffee farmers within the community.

The Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative project was successfully validated under the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards through an independent audit of the project’s design and methodology.

You can learn more about the project on Conservation International’s website and read the project description here.

Photo © Conservation International/photo Bailey Evans

This is an emission reduction project that has been sponsored by Sustainable Travel International

Verification: The Verified Carbon Standard & The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance
Crediting Period: 2009-2018

Projected Annual Emission Reductions:

Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm

The Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm is located in west central Texas and is comprised of 75 wind turbines that are capable of producing enough clean, renewable electricity to power over 30,000 homes annually. Wind energy displaces the need for traditional fossil fuel energy sources thereby reducing carbon emissions and climate change impact. The Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm also provides local economic benefits in the form of an expanded local tax base and landowner lease payments. Proceeds from the sale of carbon offsets provide the financial incentive for clean energy projects such as the Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm to reach development and fund initial operational costs. A Project Description can be found here.

This is an emissions reduction project that has been sponsored by Sustainable Travel International

Verification: Verified Carbon Standard Crediting Period: 2010 – 2020 Projected Annual Emission Reductions: 200,000