PJM Collaborates in the Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) Market

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Energy Web Foundation and a subsidiary of PJM Interconnection are going to collaborate on building and evaluating the effectiveness of a blockchain-based tool for the U.S. Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) market.

EWF and PJM Environmental Information Services Inc. (PJM-EIS) announced they are teaming up on developing and testing a market-wide reference implementation of Energy Web Origin for the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) administered by PJM-EIS. EW Origin is a customizable, open-source, decentralized toolkit for renewable energy and carbon markets that simplifies and enhances the way in which customers procure renewable energy.

The pilot will allow PJM-EIS to investigate the potential benefits of blockchain technology to improve the security, transparency, and transaction costs of GATS.

PJM-EIS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PJM Connext, L.L.C., itself a subsidiary of PJM Interconnection. PJM Interconnection is the power grid operator and wholesale market administrator for a 13-state region of the United States serving 65 million people.

GATS is a paid subscription service that creates and tracks a generator-specific electronic certificate for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a generator. The system tracks the environmental and emissions attributes of generation, along with the ownership of credits as they are traded or used to meet governmental renewable-energy standards.

The collaboration will focus on the PJM region of the GATS market, and aims to develop, test, and make available a full implementation of the blockchain-based EW Origin toolkit. EW Origin helps unlock renewables investments by reducing administrative and transaction costs, modernizing user experience, and enabling greater access for renewable energy markets (including for smaller buyers and sellers below the megawatt-hour level).

“We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Energy Web Foundation and gain experience with a new technology,” said Ken Schuyler, president of PJM-EIS. “Our customers have expressed interest in incorporating blockchain technology into our services, and we look forward to leveraging the technology where it can provide additional benefits.”

EW Origin, which runs on the Energy Web Chain, is a state-of-the-art toolkit for renewable energy markets across the globe that leverages blockchain technology to record the provenance and automatically track the ownership of renewably generated energy. EWF is developing EW Origin as an open-source toolkit for issuing bodies and registries across the globe that oversee renewable energy certificate (REC), guarantee of origin (GO), international renewable energy certificate (I-REC), and other similar green energy attribute systems.

Applications built with the EW Origin toolkit will offer issuing bodies, registries, and market participants of any size greater transparency, disintermediation, aggregation, interoperability, automation, and overall user experience at a lower cost compared to existing technology services.

EWF will develop the full EW Origin toolkit for a reference implementation in collaboration with PJM-EIS between this month and November 2019. EWF will also manage pilots of EW Origin in the PJM region in coordination with PJM-EIS and various key market participants to test the toolkit in real-world settings and collect feedback for improvements.

PJM-EIS will advise this development to ensure the implementation meets business, regulatory, technological needs for issuing, trading, tracking, retiring, and reporting RECs in GATS.

"This collaboration between EWF and PJM-EIS is a major milestone for the adoption of advanced digital technologies in the energy sector," said Hervé Touati, CEO of Energy Web Foundation. “We are excited to partner with a leader such as PJM-EIS.”

EWF, which was co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, is a global nonprofit working on developing and unleashing blockchain’s potential to accelerate the transition to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, and resilient energy system. EWF is building the shared, digital infrastructure—an open-source, scalable blockchain platform—specifically designed for the energy sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs.

The PJM Interconnection operates a competitive wholesale electricity market and manages the reliability of its transmission grid in all or part of 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.

Editors for Renewable Energy World