Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Twenty-nine states plus the District of Colombia have established Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that mandate electric utilities serving retail customers in their state to provide a percentage of their electricity sales from renewable energy. While definitions and requirements vary from state to state, most standards include wind, solar, low-impact hydro, landfill gas, biomass and geothermal generation. Utilities may meet these annual obligations through generation from their own renewable plants or from purchases from other providers with renewable generation. In either case, utilities must provide RECs as verification of meeting the mandate. RECs represent the “green” environmental benefits, or attributes, of renewable energy, where one REC equals one MegaWatt-hour of renewable energy. RECs may be acquired separately from the electricity, which is typically the case.
Green Harbor Energy helps owner and operators of renewable generation qualify their plants to meet RPS requirements, certify the plant’s production to create state-approved RECs, and market RECs to buyers in the marketplace.
Energy Efficiency Certificates (EECs)
Four states with an RPS require electric utilities serving retail customers in their state to provide a percentage of their electricity sales from energy efficiency savings. All states with this requirement allow savings from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, while some allow savings from energy conservation measures. As with renewable energy, utilities must provide certificates, in this case EECs, as verification of meeting the annual mandate. Likewise, EECs represent the “green” environmental benefits, or attributes, of energy efficiency savings. However, in the case of CHP systems in some states, unlike RECs, one EEC can equal the combined energy savings of both electricity and thermal production.
Green Harbor Energy helps owner and operators of energy efficiency projects qualify their projects to meet RPS requirements, measure and verify energy savings, certify the savings to create state-approved EECs, and market EECs to buyers in the marketplace.
In addition to RECs and EECs, there are numerous other environmental credits that provide financial incentives to make investments in technology or operational changes to reduce emissions. Most notably of these credits are: Emission Reduction Credits (ERC), which are created by emission reductions in EPA designated non-attainment areas, CO2 allowances, which are created by CO2 reductions in accordance with the either the California or the Northeast (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) compliance markets, and Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN), which are created by the development of renewable transportation fuels in accordance with the US EPA.
Green Harbor Energy helps owner and operators of these credit projects qualify their projects to meet requirements, certify the environmental benefits, and market the credits to buyers in the marketplace.
Clean Energy Systems
The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation has been declining rapidly with current prices well below a dollar per Watt. Combined with investment tax credits, accelerated depreciation rules, and solar RECs, solar systems make sense in many geographical regions and applications including rooftops, greenfield, brownfield and landfill sites.
Green Harbor Energy develops solar systems for industrial, commercial and institutional clients with no capital cost options and an emphasis on brownfield and landfill sites. For solar systems already in development or installed, Green Harbor can help owners and operators of solar qualify their plants to meet RPS requirements, certify the plant’s production to create state-approved solar RECs, and market solar RECs to buyers in the marketplace.
Combined Heat & Power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, also known as cogeneration, generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. Utilizing generation technologies such as reciprocating engines, gas turbines, micro-turbines and fuel cells, CHP systems are extremely efficient with overall efficiencies sometimes reaching 80 percent.
Green Harbor Energy helps owner and operators of CHP system projects qualify their projects to meet RPS requirements, measure and verify energy savings, certify the savings to create state-approved EECs, and market EECs to buyers in the marketplace. In addition, Green Harbor provides advisory services in development of CHP systems as well as software packages for the monitoring and optimization of CHP operations.
Microgrids are localized grids with complex configurations of Distributed Generation (DG) and loads, typically at military bases, university campuses and industrial parks. Traditionally these grids have been viewed as having the ability to operate autonomously, or in isolation, from the electric utility grid. However, advancements in Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as gas turbines, solar, and battery storage, have enabled smaller industrial and commercial sites to form localized grids. Regardless of the size, these microgrids have significant operational complexity, which requires utility-like control capabilities.
Green Harbor Energy provides state-of-the-art Measurement & Verification (M&V) services for evaluation of energy savings from microgrid projects as well as advanced, cloud-based software packages for the real-time monitoring of microgrids and the operational optimization of microgrids.