Purchasing credits to support renewable energy goals

Federal agencies continue to strive toward generating 80 percent of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Supporting this effort are the sale and purchase transactions of Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs.

Currently, Western’s Upper Great Plains Region is looking to purchase RECs, also known as “green tags,” for several Federal agencies through two different requests for proposals, including:

  • A joint request for 315,000 megawatt-hours of RECs over six years for DOE’s Richland Operations and Berkeley Site offices, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Program. Bids due by July 1.
  • A request for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to provide 3,000 MWhs of RECs per year to its Golden Field Office Research Support facility and 629 MWhs of RECs per year to replace solar energy NREL sold to Xcel Energy. Bids due by July 8.

All offers must be for firm, fixed, per-MWh unit prices for each year of the contract term. Once bids have been received, Upper Great Plains will select proposals based on best value.

For more information about the request for proposals, visit Upper Great Plains Power Marketing for RECs website.


  • By Jessie C, June 22, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    What are the differences between compliance and voluntary markets for RECs?

  • By Jen, June 23, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    Great question Jessie,

    REC Compliance markets are driven by state Renewable Portfolio Standards, also called RPS. About 32 states currently have RPS mandates, requiring utilities within the state to supply a certain percentage of renewable energy generation for loads. See more on RPS requirements.

    On the other hand, voluntary markets are those where consumers voluntarily purchase RECs to support the advancement of renewable energy or offset their greenhouse footprint. You can also learn more about voluntary REC markets.

  • By Brian Greenberg, June 30, 2011 @ 2:48 am

    This sounds like a great initiative.

  • By Jim, August 18, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    Hey Jen,

    Do you think all states will have mandates soon?

  • By Jen, October 12, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    Good question Jim. I think each state will have to answer that question individually.

    However, as a Federal agency we follow the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which requires us to seek ways, to the extent economically feasible and technically practicable, to ensure the total amount of electric energy the Federal Government consumes, includes renewable energy as defined in section 203 of the Act:
    –Three percent in fiscal years 2007 through 2009
    –Five percent in fiscal years 2010 through 2012
    –Seven-and-a-half percent in fiscal year 2013 and beyond

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  • By John Schultz, March 19, 2013 @ 8:11 am

    My only concern with the effort is methodology, none of the current renewable energy sources are sufficiently cost effective to meet the 80% renewable objective in the prescribed time frame. We need to make improvements in efficiency of these resources. Meanwhile we continue to enhance our position through these efforts, and the more mundane energy tax credits for green projects, but I anticipate great difficulty in reaching the stated objectives.

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