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Introduction to Renewable Energy Certificate Tracking Systems

Introduction to Renewable Energy Certificate Tracking Systems

Originally Aired on May 21, 2014
Renewable energy markets in the U.S. increasingly rely upon tracking systems—regional electronic databases that allow stakeholders to manage their portfolio of renewable energy certificates (RECs) that confer environmental benefits and act as proof of generation. Unsung and largely unknown outside the industry, REC tracking systems in the U.S. are crucial to our functioning marketplace. Join Amy Fredregill, Executive Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS), and CRS Senior Project Manager Rachael Terada in an overview of how tracking systems work, what's in a REC, and an inside look at M-RETS.

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  1. Outline 1. Tracking System Overview 2. Renewable Energy Certificates 3.

    Attributes Tracked on Certificates 4. Trading and Retirement 5. Use of Tracking Systems in the Voluntary Market
  2. Primary Users Generating Facilities Load Serving Entities (LSEs) Marketers State

    Program Administrators Voluntary Program Administrators
  3. Tracking RECs Primary Attributes – Fuel type – Vintage –

    Facility Location – Direct Emissions Derived Attributes – Avoided emissions • Includes CO2
  4. Center for Resource Solutions Tracking System Webinar Midwest Renewable Energy

    Tracking System, Inc. Overview Amy Fredregill Executive Director
  5.  Organizational Overview  Functions and comparisons with peers 

    Midwest RPS overview  Annual stats  REC tracking scope  Data sources and certificates  Stakeholders  Drivers for registry activity  Developments on horizon  Accessing information and getting involved 34 Topics to be covered
  6.  Mission Statement: M-RETS efficiently tracks and verifies renewable energy

    generation in collaboration with stakeholders, facilitating renewable energy development in the public interest.  Nonprofit - independent, not affiliated with an ISO or agency  Balanced board of directors  3 staff, APX serves as Administrator Organizational Overview 36
  7. Key M-RETS Functions 37 Verifies production data for participating generators

     Generators must register units  Must report 100% of output from registered unit to prevent double counting  No automatic retirements based on age Only track renewable energy, not all generation Not tracking emissions and carbon at this time
  8.  In M-RETS, a “Whole Certificate” is one where none

    of the renewable attributes have been separately sold, given, or otherwise transferred to another party by a deliberate act of the Certificate owner. 38 1 MWh Renewable Energy = 1 whole Certificate
  9. M-RETS Roots and History 39  First REC tracking began

    in 2007  RPS compliance roots  Quasi-governmental, initially housed at state Commission  Formed initially to ensure states and utilities with compliance obligation had a tool for RPS compliance
  10. Policy Driven and Position Neutral 40  No advocacy at

    state legislatures  M-RETS does not determine eligibility for state or voluntary programs  A generating unit is considered "renewable" if the energy generated is considered renewable by jurisdiction  Dynamic software leads to nimble registry - If RPS adopted or amended, work with stakeholders to determine if changes needed
  11.  State and provincial governments  Electric providers (muni, co-op

    and IOU)  Environmental Commodities/REC Brokers  Independent Power Producers or other large generators  Distributed generators or aggregators  Qualified Reporting Entities (data reporting)  Nonprofits interested in renewable energy Primary Stakeholders 41
  12.  ~70% of activity is driven by regulatory compliance 

    RPS’s in MN, WI, IL are top drivers  May also track anything that the voluntary market deems “renewable”  Growth in the voluntary markets  Offer a bulletin board where buyers and sellers can connect  Not a trading or clearing system, not tracking REC prices 42 Balancing the Needs of Voluntary and Mandatory Stakeholders
  13. 43 Account Holder Activity • 73MM RECs issued in 2013

    • 31MM RECs retired in 2013 • 207 Accounts Registered currently • 608 Total Projects currently; 25% are under 1.5MW • 44 New Projects in 2013; most are under 1.5MW
  14. 45 Current RPS, RES, and REO in M-RETS Footprint Standards

    Goals Iowa 105 MW Illinois 25% by 20125 Indiana 10% by 2025 Minnesota 25% by 2025 1.5% Solar by 2020 Montana 15% by 2015 North Dakota 10% by 2015 Ohio 12.5% by 2024 South Dakota 10% by 2015 Wisconsin ~10 by 2015 Manitoba none
  15. Topics on the Horizon 46  Distributed generation and aggregation

    trends  Transfer of RECs between regions  Software enhancements  Ensure no double counting of RECS as other environmental attributes are increasingly being tracked for compliance  Backloading/retroactive RECs
  16. For more information, please visit mrets.org or contact Amy Fredregill,

    M-RETS Executive Director at [email protected] Subscriber Group Meeting June 12 1:30 Central Conference call info on website All stakeholders welcome
  17.  72 projects registered as DG – Solar  15

    Aggregated PV projects comprised of 775 DG PV units in M-RETS totaling 6.5 MW of capacity  832 Solar generators registered individually or in aggregate 50 How many Solar Aggregation Projects are registered in M-RETS?
  18.  Data must be from control area settlements from a

    revenue quality meter  For customer-sited distributed generators, the original source for reporting total energy production must be from revenue-quality metering, adjusted to reflect energy delivered into either transmission or distribution grid at the generator bus bar. Either:  Metering at the AC output of an inverter  In the absence of meter at inverter, measure only hourly positive generation flowing to the distribution system 51 Meter info and data sources
  19.  1.5% solar requirement means at least 2250 small solar

    facilities in M-RETS  Learning from other tracking systems’ approaches to registering aggregated DG  Ideas for enhancements under consideration as we communicate with state and wait for any final guidance to optimally serve MN regulators and Account Holders  Stakeholder workgroup 52 M-RETS Preparation for SES
  20.  M-RETS Goals:  Functional & automated export of RECs

    from M-RETS to all compatible tracking systems  Growing number of REC exports by M-RETS Account Holders– almost 1/3 increase from 2011 to 2012  Functional & automated import of RECs into M-RETS from other compatible tracking systems  Coordinating with other tracking systems Import/Export of Renewable Energy Certificates Between Registries 53