Green-e Energy National Standard Updates

By Patrick Ngai, CPA, Audit Manager
ASL Renewable Energy Group

Started in 1997, Center for Resource Solution’s (CRS) Green-e Energy Program has become one of the nation’s largest certification programs for the Green Power market today. The Program is governed by two documents: the Green-e Energy National Standard, which provides the requirements for the types of resources that are eligible to generate certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs); and the Green-e Code of Conduct, which dictates how program participants (Participant) can market their certified REC products.

Most recently, the Green-e Energy National Standard underwent two separate updates. The first update, numbered Version 3.0, was published on January 1, 2017 and was a planned major update to the standard (once every five years). This update included new definitions and language clarifications because of the continuing development of renewable technologies and the surrounding regulatory landscape. A few notable changes include:

  • Revision of the geographic definition of “United States” to include all fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and associated territorial waters and airspace.
  • Clarification to explicitly exclude food crops and animal feed as eligible biomass/biofuel resources.
  • As of July 1, 2018, all eligible REC supply must be tracked in an approved tracking system with the following exceptions:
    • The entire facility has an aggregated nameplate capacity less than or equal to 10 MW.
    • The facility is located on property owned by the retail electricity user claiming the RECs/renewable energy or has a “direct-line connection,” and requires that the user is claiming all RECs generated by the facility during the period of certification.
    • The Participant’s total certified sales volume is less than or equal to 10,000 MWh for that reporting year.
    • The facility (or Participants) using output from the facility in Green-e Energy certified transactions, provides to CRS, an independent 3rd party verification of the facility, including, but not limited to, its total output and sales agreements, to verify that no double selling has occurred, in accordance with Green-e Energy verification procedures.

The second update, numbered Version 3.1, was published on June 9, 2017. Notable changes in this version include:

  • The inclusion of Canada as part of the eligible geographic location, and effectively changed the title of the standard to Green-e Renewable Energy Standard for Canada and the United States.
  • Clarification on programs that contract supply from portions of specific facilities to individual customers.
  • Clarification on eligible supply from the State of Washington as affected by the State’s 2017 Clean Air Rule.

In future articles, we will delve into the international reach that CRS is working on for its Green-e Energy Program.

Please contact Patrick Ngai, Manager or Steve Carter, Principal for any questions you may have about RECs or the Green-e Energy Program.