New Program to Produce Millions of Tonnes of Emission Reductions



    EDMONTON, March 20 /CNW/ - The first payments are being made to farmers
who are enrolled in a new program developed by EPCOR and Carbon Reduction
Offset Projects Ltd. (CROP).
    EPCOR has committed to purchase up to two million tonnes of verified
emission reductions credits under the program. Farmers participating in the
program receive a payment based on the amount of verified emission reduction
they create by reduced tillage. By adopting reduced tillage practices, carbon
is permanently sequestered in the soil, topsoil is preserved and fuel
consumption is reduced.
    "Under this program, farmers apply environmentally sound practices and
make some extra money doing it," said barley and canola farmer Jack
Richardson, of Richview Farms near Crossfield, Alberta. Mr. Richardson
qualified for the program by reducing his tillage from two passes to one.
    The program currently has more than half a million acres under contract,
from which more than 60,000 tonnes of emission reductions have so far been
third-party verified. This is the equivalent to taking more than 15,000 cars
of the road for one year(*).
    "This carbon credit program will help us manage our greenhouse gas
emissions while supporting sustainable farm practices," said Doug MacLeod,
EPCOR's Vice President of Environment. "This purchase also positions EPCOR
well in the emerging greenhouse gas offset credit markets, and builds our
expertise."
    CROP and EPCOR plan to roll out the program throughout Alberta and beyond
to other provinces.
    Under the program, EPCOR purchases emission reduction credits from CROP.
The carbon credits can be sold or be used to meet EPCOR compliance
requirements under the province's new environmental laws. Greenhouse gas
reductions under the program are independently verified by a third party under
terms in the province's new emission reductions regulations.
    "We are pleased that farm practices are being recognized by the Alberta
legislation as part of the long term solution for greenhouse gas issues," said
Lynn Kennett, General Manager of CROP. "We are working with local agricultural
businesses who best understand their customer's needs and can deliver value by
helping farmers take advantage of this new opportunity."
    EPCOR and CROP spent three years developing this carbon offset project.
The companies have developed a proprietary data management system that farmers
use to document and verify the practices that produce carbon credits under the
new provincial rules.

    Forward-looking Information

    Certain information in this news release is forward looking and related
to anticipated financial performance, events and strategies. When used in this
context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend",
"target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. By their
nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties,
which could cause EPCOR's actual results and experience to be materially
different than the anticipated results. Such risks and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, operating performance, commodity prices and volumes,
load settlement, regulatory and government decisions including changes to
environmental and tax legislation, weather and economic conditions,
competitive pressures, construction risks, availability and cost of financing,
foreign exchange risks, availability of labour and management resources and
the performance of partners, contractors and suppliers.
    Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements as actual results could differ materially from the plans,
expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking
statements. Except as required by law, EPCOR disclaims any intention and
assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new
information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other
reason.

    About EPCOR Utilities Inc.

    EPCOR Utilities Inc. builds, owns and/or operates power plants,
electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater
treatment facilities and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR
has been named one of Canada's Top 100 employers for eight consecutive years,
and is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. EPCOR's web site is www.epcor.ca.

    About CROP Ltd.

    Carbon Reduction Offset Projects Ltd. is a subsidiary of Parkland Agri
Services Corp. CROP's business activities are focused on new business
opportunities associated with data management and agricultural environmental
opportunities. Parkland Agri Services Corp. is an agricultural input supply
business with 10 retail outlets in central Alberta, serving more than
2,000 farmers. Carbon Reduction Offset Projects Ltd. has its head office in
Didsbury, Alberta.

    (*)Vehicle equivalency based on Natural Resource Canada estimate, under
which a 2005 Honda Accord driven 20,000 km in one year produces 3.983 tonnes
of carbon dioxide.





For further information:

For further information: Tim le Riche, Senior Adviser, Corporate
Relations, EPCOR, (780) 969-8238, cell (780) 721-2013, tleriche@epcor.ca; Lynn
Kennett, General Manager, Carbon Reduction Offset Projects Ltd., (403)
708-9376, lkennett@cropprojects.com

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EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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