In March 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the use of tradable renewable energy credits (TRECs) in the California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. This framework allows parties required to meet the RPS to purchase RECs "unbundled" or separate from the associated renewable energy. At the time, the announcement stated that the initial use of TRECs for RPS compliance would be limited to no more than 25% of a given investor owned utility's (IOU) or Electric Service Provider’s (ESP) annual obligation. The initial price cap was set at $50. Both the 25% limitation and $50 price cap were to be lifted as of 12/31/13.
In April 2011, SBX1-2 was signed into place, which capped the use of TRECs at 25% for the compliance period ending December 31, 2013, which will further decrease to 10% of the utility's RPS requirement by 2017.
In 2015, California extended the timeline and expanded the requirements of its RPS. The RPS now reaches to 2030, when 50% of each utility’s retail sales must come from renewable energy. More information about SB 350 is available here.
California’s REC market is tracked by the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS), which tracks renewable energy generation and creates WREGIS certificates for every REC generated. The WREGIS certificates (or RECs) are used to demonstrate compliance with state RPS policies. WREGIS serves 14 states and two Canadian provinces.
Eligible SREC Market
There is currently no solar carve-out in the CA RPS. Instead, solar is one of many eligible resources under California’s broader RPS.
Facilities must submit monthly meter readings via the Self-Reporting Interface within WREGIS.
Systems are eligible upon registration with WREGIS and CA.
There is no alternative compliance payment set for solar. The initial TREC price cap was set at $50.
TRECs can be traded for up to 3 years before a credit must be committed for RPS compliance.
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