If you own a solar system in the state of California you need tolearn about Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which your systemproduces and are expected to have monetary value soon. One RECrepresents the positive environmental attributes of 1,000 kWh (or 1megawatt hour) of renewable energy generation. RECs are intangiblecertificates and separate from the electricity your system produces. Soon RECs may act as a supplemental revenue stream for system owners now that California utilities can purchase RECs to help satisfy a portionof their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Just this week Californiamade history when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law one of the mostaggressive RPS mandates in the country, which will require allCalifornia electric utilities to get 33% of their generation fromrenewable energy sources by the year 2020.
In order to potentially sell your RECs at a later date, you must first register your system in WREGIS (Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System) the statesponsored REC registry and tracking system for California. Although itis still unclear how much California RECs will be worth, it is absolutely in your best interest to get your system registered now in order to start bankingyour Renewable Energy Credits. Banking simply means having your RECscertified now, and accumulating them in your WREGIS account topotentially sell at a later date. California RECs have a 3 yeartradable life, which means that if you get registered today and startedcreating RECs, you could sell those up to 3 years from now. Over 5,000solar systems have recognized this potential and registered with WREGIS, and that number keeps growing every week. Whether you are a 3kwresidential system or a 300kw commercial system you are entitled toregister now, assuming that you own the system. If you financed thru alease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) you may not be eligible as youdo not have ownership of those RECs. Also if you are outside of thePG&E, SoCal Edison or SDG&E territory, you should check the DSIRE website to confirm that you own the RECs, and they were not retained by yourlocal Utility when you accepted their rebate program dollars.
In order to get registered in WREGIS you have to submit an onlineapplication and provide them with a number of supporting documents;basically proving that your system was interconnected and that you arethe owner. In order to create and certify RECs in the system, WREGIShas ongoing production reporting requirements. The initial registration process can take less than 10 minutes if you have all the requiredverification documents on file. You are free to contact WREGIS directly if you have any questions. Also the California Public UtilitiesCommission (CPUC) has a frequently asked questions webpage on the topic of Tradable Renewable Energy Credits.
Can I sell my RECs already?
RECs produced by residential and commercial solar systems, which are considered Distributed Generation (DG) facilities are currently not eligible to sell into an RPS market. TheCalifornia Energy Commission (CEC) is expected to make an eligibilityruling on DG facilities later this year, so residential and commercialsolar system owners cannot sell and get paid for their RECs until then. But you absolutely can and should get registered in WREGIS now, tostart banking your RECs – to potentially sell at a later date. You have no risk for getting registered and the only cost is about 10 minutes of your time.
About Leaf Exchange:
Leaf Exchange is a Renewable Energy Credit brokerage &exchange service for California solar system owners. We provide solarsystem owners REC market education, certification services, and a venueto sell their Certificates. Leaf Exchange registers systems into WREGIS for no cost, so system owners can start banking their RECs topotentially sell at a later date. For more information visit www.theleafexchange.com
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