Renewable Energy Credits

The Washington Energy Independence Act 19.285 RCW allows utilities to meet their renewable energy obligations with either actual energy from renewable projects or renewable energy credits (RECs). Unbundled RECs from hydro generation may not be used for compliance.

A utility using RECs to meet its target may only use WREGIS RECs. They may use any REC created by WREGIS from a generating facility that meets the Washington statutory definition of an eligible renewable resource. Generators and utilities must use the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) to create, track and retire any REC that is used to satisfy the state renewable energy standards.

A REC created by WREGIS demonstrates that the generating facility has produced the electricity and that no other account holder is counting that unit of energy to meet its renewable portfolio standard requirements or a voluntary renewable program. WREGIS does not certify that a REC meets any individual state definition of renewable energy.

Washington law does not allow utilities to use RECs from hydroelectric projects unless they are bundled with the associated electricity and produced in the compliance year. However, utilities are encouraged to document eligible hydro generation using the WREGIS tracking system. Retirement of the REC then demonstrates that the environmental attributes of the hydro generation are not being double-counted.

Washington-Eligible Designations and Advisory Opinions

Washington-eligible designation is an optional feature for RECs. Commerce is the WREGIS state program administrator for Washington. The owner or representative of a generating facility may apply to Commerce for optional designation as eligible under the Washington renewable energy standard. Once designated by Commerce, the RECs created by WREGIS for that generating facility will carry a “Washington eligible” indicator.

Apply for Washington designation and an advisory opinion using the advisory opinion application posted on the EIA Advisory Opinions page.

EIA Links



Austin Scharff
Energy Policy Specialist
Phone: 360-764-9632