A Minnesota nonprofit is partnering with an Australian company to build an application to manage REC sales.

A Minneapolis clean energy nonprofit recently agreed to partner with an Australian company to enhance the process of buying and selling renewable energy credits through blockchain technology. Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) announced that the Australian technology company Power Ledger will build the blockchain application to manage the sales of renewable energy credits (RECs) and thermal energy credits created by renewable natural gas. A third partner, San Francisco-based Clearway Energy Group, develops and operates clean energy projects, including several in Minnesota and Iowa. The partnership seeks to offer a technology solution that helps users manage the complexity of the booming green energy marketplace. It essentially creates the equivalent of a stock market for renewable energy certificate buyers and sellers where trades can happen much more quickly than they do today.

What’s a REC marketplace and how do they usually work?

Renewable energy credits have become an annual $3 billion market for utilities that must reach state-mandated clean energy goals and for companies seeking to voluntarily reduce their environmental impact. Unless governments or businesses produce onsite electricity, they do not know the origin of the power they consume. They pay their local utilities for electricity created by a combination of natural gas, wind, solar, coal and hydro. If they want to support clean energy they can buy renewable energy certificates, which are created by clean energy producers such as wind and solar companies. The cost of the credits is in addition to their electricity bills. A renewable energy certificate represents 1 megawatt hour of renewable energy. Brokers handle certificate sales to a marketplace with two kinds of buyers. […]