Blockchain could help modernize Nevada's renewables tracking system
- The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada last month opened a comment period and scheduled a workshop to consider alternative methods of tracking Portfolio Energy Credits, as the current Nevada Tracks Renewable Energy Credits (NVTREC) system used to help the state meet its renewables target is outdated and no longer maintained by NV Energy.
- Regulators last year opened the investigation into how to replace the current system for renewable energy producers to earn and sell credits to electric utilities. The PUC has specified blockchain-powered solutions may be an option.
- The Portfolio Energy Credits are intended to help the state meet its renewable portfolio standard of 25% by 2025, with credits issued through the NVTREC and WREGIS systems. The latter has a 1 MW threshold, however, and is not well-suited to smaller generators.
Regulators opened a docket last September to begin the investigation, and specifically want to consider whether blockchain could be the solution.
The PUC will take comments until April 15, and has asked participants to address "what blockchain-based solutions or other available technologies ... can be utilized by providers of electric service to track and certify Nevada portfolio energy credits?"
A workshop on the issue will be held at the commission's Las Vegas office on May 6.
Some of the buzz around blockchain has fallen off, but the utility sector is still looking at several potential use cases.
The distributed ledger technology can allow for rapid, public validation of transactions in order to reduce data risks and speed the authentication process. Experts in the utility industry say it could eliminate the need for a centralized approach to market clearing, lowering transaction costs and setting the stage for a transactive energy environment.
Nevada regulators have also asked participants to consider whether a blockchain-powered solution could allow customers in Nevada to benefit by allowing them to participate in larger renewables markets, including California's.
- Public Utilities Commission of Nevada PUCN Seeks Comments
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