NV Energy Will Pilot Blockchain to Track Small-scale Solar
image credit: Credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL
- Oct 22, 2020 4:06 pm GMTOct 22, 2020 1:16 pm GMT
- 659 views
NV Energy has announced a blockchain pilot program that is expected to enhance tracking the credits associated with renewable energy generation.
Nevada’s Portfolio Energy Credit (PEC) Trading Pilot Project follows a proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Docket 18–09008, to explore blockchain-based technology to track and certify PECs that are used to determine renewable portfolio standards compliance.
NV Energy is launching the pilot program with Energy Web and Blockchains LLC. The pilot is expected to give the utility a better understanding of how open-source blockchain technologies can create value for customers, reduce internal costs, and provide access to portfolio energy credits to more customers who generate renewable energy across Nevada.
Nevada’s RPS requires electricity providers to achieve at least 50% renewable energy by 2030. Typical renewable energy credits are generated and tracked at the megawatt-hour level. But Nevada’s PECs are created at the kilowatt-hour level, making them well-matched to output from residential solar PV systems.
That means smaller customers — like residential rooftop solar households — can be contributors to RPS requirements. The Trading Pilot Project will study how these small producers can more easily contribute to the state’s RPS.
The pilot is expected to show how a blockchain-based approach can support an entire PEC lifecycle: the registration of renewable energy assets and their owners; the certification of PECs; PEC tracking; and the sale, transfer, and retirement of PECs.
The main objectives are to create an audit trail of the PEC lifecycle, reduce various administrative costs and bottlenecks in the existing PEC process, and show the possibility of creating a more liquid PEC market that allows the individual customer more access to and insight into the state’s renewable energy program.
In the pilot, existing rooftop solar customers would be able to record their generated PEC data to the Energy Web Chain. In the future, blockchain-enabled smart meters could further streamline and enhance the PEC trading process for new rooftop solar customers.
NV Energy said it will recruit volunteer households with existing rooftop solar to join the pilot. The three pilot partners plan to begin implementation later this year.