Western U.S. renewables registry and tracking system launched

The California Energy Commission said a newly created renewable energy registry and tracking system for electricity generation will facilitate growth of renewable energy throughout the western U.S.

The Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) was developed in response to policies set by the California Legislature and the Western Governors Association to develop and implement a system tracking renewable energy generation. The system began operating in June, and creates renewable energy certificates for verifiable renewable generation from generating units registered in the system.

For purposes of the program, �renewable� is defined by a state or province within the Western Interconnection System. While the majority of the new renewable capacity is from wind, some hydropower, principally low-impact hydro, is eligible.

WREGIS is the largest system of its kind in the world, in terms of coverage, the Energy Commission said. It covers an area that includes the western U.S., parts of Canada, and part of Baja California in Mexico. It will be used to meet renewables portfolio standards requirements and other renewable energy policies for states and provinces within the Western Interconnection transmission area.

WREGIS will track renewable generation to help ensure the credibility of the �green� value of electricity generated from renewables, the Energy Commission said. The system is expected to make it easier to implement renewable policies and achieve renewable energy goals, it added.

Participation in WREGIS is voluntary. The system is available in the area covered by the Western Interconnection System, which includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming in the U.S., Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California in Mexico.

WREGIS certificates could be used by electricity suppliers and other energy market participants to comply with state and provincial policies, regulatory programs, and to support voluntary �green� electricity markets.

The California Legislature assigned the California Energy Commission in 2002 the task of developing a tracking system for implementing the state’s renewables portfolio standard. The commission said WREGIS is a critical element for measuring California’s success in meeting a mandate to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2010. (HNN 3/20/07)

The Western Electricity Coordinating Council in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the institutional home for the program. Additional information is available from the Internet at www.wregis.org.

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