In this May 31, 2017, file photo, the former Brayton Point Power Station, a coal-fired power plant, is seen in Somerset, Massachusetts. The plant was decommissioned in 2019. Credit: Matt O'Brien / AP

Maine officials said the state has received more than $4 million from an auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances during the first quarter of the year.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative said the auction was part of its cap-and-trade program. The program is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The 11 states that participate in the greenhouse gas initiative limit emissions from power plants and allow companies to purchase allowances at auction. The program has brought Maine more than $127 million over the years, the Maine Public Utilities Commission said.

Commission Chair Philip Bartlett said the money has allowed the state to “reinvest in strategic programs, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, direct bill assistance, and greenhouse gas abatement programs.”

The program began in 2005. It has generated almost $4 billion in total.