With the launch of the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (NC-RETS), North Carolina is paving the way for what could be the future for SREC markets. For the first time, an SREC created in one region’s registry will be transferable to a buyer in another region’s registry. This cooperation amongst registries could be the first step towards a permeable nationwide SREC market.
North Carolina is currently working with other renewable energy certificate tracking systems to approve a process for importing and exporting SRECs. The approval of exporting SRECs from other tracking systems and importing them into NC-RETS would allow solar system owners located in states without viable SREC markets to sell into the North Carolina SREC market. This is all possible because almost all of the registries were built with similar technology developed by APX. More information on all of the registries can be found here: APX Primer on REC Registries.
NC-RETS is working with the parties responsible for maintaining the other regional registries to develop the importing and exporting process. Here is a list of those registries and an update on the status of importing and exporting:
NARR: The North American Renewables Registry (NARR) was developed by APX to serve the needs of states and regions that have not implemented a REC tracking system. This covers most of the Southeastern U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. NARR has already established importing/exporting procedures with NC-RETS.
MRETS: The Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS), the registry that tracks the generation of SRECs in 8 Midwest U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba, has approved the exportation of SRECs and is implementing the necessary software upgrades.
GATS: Generation Attribute Tracking System covers the Mid-Atlantic states and currently tracks the majority of SREC volume due to member states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. GATS is expected to allow importing/exporting soon.
WREGIS: The Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS), the registry that tracks the generation of SRECs in 14 Western U.S. states, Baja California, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, is capable of managing exports and is in the process of making a policy decision to allow the system to export SRECs.
ERCOT: Texas, the sixth state to adopt an RPS in 1999, was the first to implement a procedure for meeting the RPS. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was the first registry of its kind. Unfortunately, it does not currently have the capability to export SRECs and it may require legislative approval to make the necessary changes to the system’s software. However, NC-RETS and APX are working with ERCOT to come up with a solution.