The CMEEC 15-Acre Carbon-Offset Forest
In 2000, RTT partnered with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) to plant a 15-acre forest in Costa Rica to help offset carbon emissions created through CMEEC’s energy generation activities. CMEEC is a publicly directed joint action supply agency formed by the state’s municipal electric utilities.
CMEEC furnishes low-cost and reliable electric power by financing, acquiring and constructing generating resources and implementing power supply contracts. Connecticut’s municipal utilities supply electric power to over 66,000 customers including some of the largest and most prominent industries in Connecticut.
Shown to the right is the 8-year old CMEEC forest ready to be thinned for farmer income. The remaining forest, after thinning, will continue to sequester and store the CO2 emissions from CMEEC’s office and vehicle emissions. RTT measures most forests annually to calculate the sequestration rate in this applied research program.
Shown left, RTT staff making measurements on some of the 8-year old trees in the CMEEC forest in Costa Rica. The worker in the tree is measuring the upper diameters of the Chancho trees to be able to accurately calculate their form class, volume and carbon content. Thinnings are an important part of the RTT Model of carbon-offset forests. The RTT Model includes thinnings of forests for farmer income as a way to make the forests sustainable. Sustainability is the key to long-term, indefinite carbon storage in forests.