The California Energy Commission (CEC) has taken another step toward meeting the California Legislature's mandate to create a tracking system to monitor compliance with the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Last week, CEC approved a contract with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) that supports the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS). WREGIS is a voluntary, independent renewable energy registry and tracking system for the Western Interconnect that will be used to verify retail sellers' compliance with the California RPS. WREGIS should ensure that renewable generation will be counted once only for purposes of meeting the RPS and will verify retail product claims in California and other states. WECC will serve as the institutional home for WREGIS.
WECC and the CEC expect WREGIS to be up and running by mid-2007. While initially funded by California ratepayers, once WREGIS is operational it will charge user fees to recover its operating costs.
Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona are also considering requiring the use of WREGIS to ensure compliance with each of their renewable energy policies. While the contract supporting WREGIS acknowledges that the tracking system could be used in other states, California is focusing on meeting its own accelerated RPS goal of 20% renewable energy by 2010; other states may need to work with WECC individually to tailor the product to their own needs.