Since 2001, we have worked to develop unique projects that produce high-quality emission reduction benefits for sale in North American carbon markets. Our project development work involves taking an instrumental role in originating real and meaningful carbon reductions under the rigor of the most influential standards and registries.
Our comprehensive suite of project development services includes:
Below is a list of project types and technologies where we have specific expertise. In each area we have successfully financed, developed, registered and transacted the resulting emission reduction benefits in the markets we participate in on behalf of our clients. Click on any of the links below to learn more about our expertise in these areas.
New Revenue Generation from Timber Holdings
U.S. forest owners have significant opportunity for new revenues from carbon mitigation credits generated by their timber holdings as a result of California cap and trade climate legislation and increasing interest in forest carbon in the voluntary market.
As one of the first four accepted mitigation protocols in the California program, economically viable forest carbon projects are now possible for a variety of forest owners, land trusts and TIMOs.
Three forest project types are being embraced in environmental markets:
Attractive Opportunities for Improved Forest Management (IFM) Projects
IFM projects on working (or preserved) forestlands reward current and ongoing maintenance of carbon stocks above the average for the forest type and region. While forests around the country vary greatly, most regions offer attractive IFM opportunities.
These projects produce carbon mitigation credits in two ways:
At Bluesource, we have an excellent track record of success with more forest projects and credits listed, registered and sold on the Climate Action Reserve than any other company and more forest carbon credits registered in the California program than any other company. These successes have helped establish our unique position as a leader in forest carbon in both the voluntary and the California compliance market.
Our team provides free project opportunity assessments and turnkey project development services, overseeing and financing every activity from forest carbon inventory to third party verification and final sale of credits. This approach enables landowners to fully maximize the upside from rising carbon prices while minimizing upfront project development time, expense and risk.
Want to know more? Contact us.
Landfill Gas Collection: Navigating Best Options
As trash deposited in landfills decomposes, it produces a waste gas stream called Landfill Gas (LFG). This gas stream is largely composed of methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 21 times more harmful than CO2. U.S. landfills alone generated 117 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent from this process in 2010.
Fortunately, landfill owners have options for mitigating this abundant and harmful emission. At Bluesource, we have the expertise and experience to help guide you in finding best options for LFG collection, destruction, beneficial-use projects and more.
Landfill gas collection systems can be installed to effectively collect, capture and direct the methane to be destroyed in a flare or beneficial use project. The easiest, least capital-intensive means of doing so is via a flare.
Also, many landfills can use the methane in a beneficial use project to create electricity, replace natural gas with direct thermal use, or replace vehicle fuel with Bio-CNG. These beneficial-use projects can reduce on-site energy costs as well as generate an additional revenue stream for the landfill owner.
Carbon finance plays an important role in bringing landfill gas destruction projects to fruition. Landfill owners are eligible to produce carbon credits if the collection and destruction of the gas is completed on a voluntary basis and will not happen in the course of business as usual.
At Bluesource, we have substantial experience in creating and monetizing Verified Emission Reduction (VER) credits from landfill gas collection and utilization projects. Working with landfills that have qualifying collection systems, we can help find the best path to create the highest quality, most valuable VER credits, and we then market the VER credits to buyers while covering upfront project development and marketing costs.
Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) comprise a group of man-made compounds that deplete stratospheric ozone, many of which, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs), are also extremely potent greenhouse gases (GHGs).
ODS mitigation credit projects involve the destruction of existing sources of ODS, such as refrigerants and blowing agents. At Bluesource, we have expertise and experience with project documentation and listing, validation and verification oversight, registration and mitigation credit marketing services as well as ongoing project support for ODS projects.
Canada’s First-Ever ODS Mitigation Project
Bluesource Canada developed Canada’s first-ever ODS mitigation credit project, which was successfully registered on the Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) Reductions Registry in 2012.
Capturing and Destroying Coal Mine Methane Emissions
Mine methane projects involve capturing and destroying methane emissions from mining operations that would normally be vented to the atmosphere. Methane is inherent in coal seams, and it poses explosive danger and other health concerns.
As a result, the Mine Safety and Health Administration requires that methane concentrations be kept below one percent in all Class III underground coal and trona mines. These mines typically utilize venting systems and methane drainage for degasification. This methane can be gathered and either destroyed via flare or oxidation, used as an alternative fuel or injected into the grid.
We can help with a variety of coal methane project types, including:
Ventilated Air Methane (VAM): In active underground mines, methane is diluted and removed from the active areas by passing large volumes of clean air from the surface across the wall face and then drawing the contaminated air back out through return shafts. This process normally releases high volumes of air with very dilute concentrations of methane into the atmosphere. VAM projects capture this normally-vented output and destroy the methane via oxidation.
Methane Drainage: At mines where the methane concentration is exceptionally high, methane drainage to accomplish degasification is often necessary. This typically entails drilling pre-mining vertical wells through the surface into the future mining zone or horizontal wells into the active mine face. Additionally, boreholes are often drilled into the post-mining areas, known as gobs, to drain methane buildup once activity has passed through the area. This process can take place at active or abandoned mines. When this methane is captured, it can be destroyed by a flare or put to beneficial use.
We have expertise and experience providing project development, marketing and support services for active surface, underground mines, as well as abandoned underground operations.
Efficient Cookstoves: Life-Changing Impact in the Third World
Through our relationship with The Paradigm Project, we helped bring efficient cookstove mitigation credits to market, helping finance stove manufacturing and distribution in East Africa and Central America. While the project has a significant and long-lasting environmental impact, the community impact was also tremendous with immeasurable health and socioeconomic improvements as well. Here’s how.
Three billion people in the world still cook every meal over an open fire. As a result, families spend lots of time, money and energy to gather and purchase fuel. Forests continue to disappear as wood is harvested and collected, and massive quantities of greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere every year.
What’s more, both adults and children suffer and die from the cumulative effects of smoke inhalation. In fact, 1.9 million women and children die every year from lower respiratory diseases related to indoor cooking smoke. Pneumonia from lower respiratory disease is the number one killer of children under five years old globally (The World Health Organization, 2010).
In many areas of the world, women walk 10-plus miles per trip and spend over 30 hours per week collecting wood, carrying 40- to 60-pound bundles back to their home. Families who purchase fuel can spend up to 30 percent of their income on wood or charcoal.
“The rural poor generate an estimated 25 percent of global CO2 emissions – more than all global transportation-related emissions combined.” -The Nature Conservancy “Saving Forests to Fight Climate Change”, 2010
An efficient stove can drastically reduce a family’s dependence on collecting or purchasing cooking fuel. In fact, replacing open fires with clean burning fuel-efficient stoves dramatically impacts the lives of families and reduces degradation of the environment.
In 2009, Bluesource co-founder Greg Spencer helped start The Paradigm Project, a venture designed from the ground up to use carbon finance to solve these problems and improve the lives of millions while simultaneously helping the planet. Paradigm began building an efficient cook stove manufacturing and distribution business in Kenya and other East African countries, and Bluesource began to talk to its mitigation credit buyers about the exciting new opportunity to co-invest in lives and the climate.
In just a few short years of operations, The Paradigm Project has provided hundreds of thousands of households with life-changing efficient cookstoves. The results? Rapid deforestation is slowed, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced significantly and lives are saved. More specifically:
Additionally, Bluesource was able to pre-sell the first few years’ worth of mitigation credit generation, providing much-needed revenue security to the initiative early on. Since those early sales, Paradigm has become known for running one of the most efficient stove programs in the world, and like Bluesource, their mitigation credits are known for their extremely high quality. Paradigm has also become a leader in monitoring the diverse range of social outcomes generated by its projects.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation accounted for over 1.8 billion metric tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2009, so driving efficiencies in this sector are an important factor in climate change mitigation. Over the years, we have had great opportunities to work with some of the country’s largest and most progressive transportation companies to develop mitigation projects in this energy-intensive sector.
Our transportation projects have prevented millions of tonnes of emissions from entering the atmosphere, specifically through the conversion of long-haul trucking shipments to intermodal transport (a combination of short-haul trucking and rail) as well as anti-idling practices. Some of our projects have the co-benefits of taking trucks off of highways, thereby reducing congestion and other pollutants attributable to local air quality.
Bluesource can assess emission reduction potential throughout transportation supply chain and operations and assist with data aggregation and analysis. After quantification of emission reduction benefits, Bluesource will coordinate monitoring, verification and registration activities and ultimately market the Verified Emission Reductions VERs).
Destruction of Methane from Wastewater Treatment
Anaerobic treatment of wastewater streams from industrial, agricultural and municipal operations can result in massive amounts of methane being released to the atmosphere, which creates an opportunity for large-scale greenhouse gas emission reductions from many sources.
The destruction of methane can be done in a beneficial way through utilization of thermal energy or generation of electricity, further reducing emissions due to displacement of natural gas or other fossil fuels.
Our wastewater treatment projects, located throughout the United States and Canada, have produced millions of tonnes of emission reductions over the years. Some of the credits from our Tyson Foods wastewater treatment facilities project were the first-ever Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) to be issued from U.S.-based projects.
Assessing Emission Reduction Potential
Our experienced team can assess emission reduction potential in wastewater treatment projects and assist with data aggregation and analysis. After quantifying emission reduction benefits, we will coordinate monitoring, verification and registration activities and ultimately market the Verified Emission Reductions (VERs).
Visit our Project Map to see wastewater treatment projects.
Fugitive Venting in Pneumatic Controller Applications
Increased awareness of the greenhouse gas impact of vented methane emissions and renewed action to capture previously underused resources has led to the development and introduction of low- or zero-bleed pneumatic devices. Many sources estimate that hundreds of thousands of high-bleed pneumatics still in upstream oil and gas operations collectively create the single greatest opportunity for industry to reduce elusive fugitive emissions.
High-To-Low/No-Bleed Mitigation Creation
Pneumatic Controller mitigation projects in the oil and gas industry (also known as “high-to-low bleed” and “fugitive emission” projects) involve the replacement of high-bleed controllers with low- or zero-bleed controllers. The difference in vented methane emissions between the two controller types signifies the volume of emission reduction opportunity for that specific conversion. Often immaterial when taken as a singular source reduction, in aggregate the mitigation credit creation opportunity can have a significant economic and environmental impact.
At Bluesource Canada, we can aggregate these reductions across multiple sites and producers, both reducing project development costs and effort required. We provide data aggregation and analysis, oversight for monitoring, validation and verification activities and marketing services for your pneumatic controller projects.
Methane Waste Gas Streams
Manure, a plentiful byproduct of poultry, hogs, and cattle, produces a methane waste gas stream that has 21 times the global warming potential as CO2. Fortunately, dairy owners and other farmers have the ability to mitigate this abundant GHG emission through construction of anaerobic digesters that effectively collect, capture and direct the methane to be destroyed.
Agricultural Methane (Ag Methane) beneficial-use projects are the most economic, burning the methane to fire gensets to produce electricity, replacing natural gas with direct thermal use, or replacing vehicle fuel with bio-CNG. These projects reduce on-site energy costs as well as generate an additional revenue stream for the project. As an additional benefit, the remaining post-process solid material can be used as bedding for dairy cows and the liquid used as a fertilizer allowing for even more cost savings.
Qualifying Anaerobic Digestion Systems
Carbon finance can play an important role in seeing these Ag Methane anaerobic digester projects come to fruition. As one of the first four approved project types under the California cap and trade program, the opportunity to generate high-quality and in-demand mitigation credits is prevalent.
At Bluesource, we work with project owners that have qualifying anaerobic digester systems to determine the most effective way to create these credits. We do so through upfront analysis, data aggregation and oversight of monitoring, validation, verification and registration activities, then market the credits produced.
Realizing Savings from Production Efficiencies
Significant opportunities exist at industrial facilities to reduce large volumes of emissions by way of production efficiencies – using less energy to do the same work (e.g. heating and cooling a building, running an industrial compressor engine, keeping the lights on, etc.). These efficiencies not only result in reduced costs but also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the burning of natural gas and the use of electricity.
At Bluesource, we have extensive experience identifying multiple areas of commercial and industrial energy efficiency – energy audits, building energy modeling and more. This experience helps project owners realize mitigation credit savings from energy efficiency projects, such as:
Examples of industrial greenhouse gas mitigation credit projects include:
Visit our Project Map to see some of our industrial mitigation credit projects.
Naturally Regenerating, Renewable Energy Projects
Renewable energy sources are naturally occurring resources that have the ability to regenerate or are part of a natural cycle. Mitigation projects of this type – solar, wind and run-of-river hydro projects – involve the generation of heat and/or power from a renewable source which replaces the generation of heat and/or power from the burning of fossil fuels (a nonrenewable resource).
At Bluesource, our wind power projects have generated hundreds of thousands of mitigation credits by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned for electricity generation. By supplying clean, wind-generated electricity to the grid, these projects are enhancing sustainability and decreasing dependence on foreign and finite resources.
We have experience and expertise providing project documentation; listing, validation and verification oversight; registration and mitigation credit marketing services, as well as ongoing project support for solar, wind and run-of-river hydro projects throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Carbon Capture Projects via Geologic and Biological Sequestration
At Bluesource, we have experience and expertise with a variety of carbon capture projects via geologic and biological sequestration.
Geologic sequestration is capturing CO2 that would otherwise be vented to the atmosphere and injecting it instead into crude production fields for Enhanced Oil Recovery, depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, geologic domes or saline aquifers. This anthropogenic (manmade) CO2 is generated from fossil fuel combustion, removed during natural gas treating, sourced from the production of ethanol or fertilizer products or sourced from crude oil refining.
Biological sequestration is enhancing absorption of CO2 through photosynthetic processes in plants and trees by means of forest management, avoided deforestation/preservation, afforestation and reforestation, cropland management, or grazing land management.
Unparalleled Experience in Natural Gas Processing
Produced natural gas requires processing before it can be sold into the marketplace. The conventional method for processing raw, sour natural gas containing high levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) involves using a sulfur recovery unit and/or incinerator to treat the gas and dispose of the H2S. These treatments result in large volumes of CO2 being vented into the atmosphere and being released from the combustion of natural gas as a fuel.
In Acid Gas Injection (AGI) and certain Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) applications, the entire gas stream is permanently contained in an underground storage well so that no CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
Our team has unparalleled experience in the natural gas processing field. In particular, Bluesource Canada has worked with oil and gas producers on six of the seven registered AGI projects in Alberta.
Replacing Fossil Fuels with Biomass and Biogas Projects
Biomass and biogas, like other forms of renewable energy, are used to replace non-renewable fossil fuels in the generation of heat and/or power. In many cases, this process is outside of business as usual and results in the capturing of methane emissions that would have normally been allowed to escape to the atmosphere. In these cases, such as when the biomass and/or source of biogas used in the project is diverted from a landfill, emission mitigation credits can be generated.
Fuel switching is similar in that it involves changing from a high greenhouse-gas-intensity fuel to a lower GHG-intensity fuel. This process can undertaken in industry, buildings or the transportation sector. For example, a company may switch from using a “dirty” fossil fuel such as diesel to a “clean” fossil fuel such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), or it may switch away from fossil fuels altogether and use renewable fuels.
Our team has completed very successful biomass and biogas projects that utilize industrial waste to generate the heat and power needed for operations while reducing the cost of energy and generating carbon mitigation credits. Examples of our projects include:
Our team has the experience to help with your biomass, biogas and fuel switching project needs. We offer project documentation and listing, validation and verification oversight, registration and mitigation credit marketing services as well as ongoing project support for these projects.