EW Origin is a customizable, open-source, decentralized toolkit for renewable energy and carbon markets that claims to simplify and enhance the way in which customers procure renewable energy. The pilot will allow PJM-EIS to investigate the potential benefits of blockchain technology to improve the security, transparency, and transaction costs of GATS.
PJM-EIS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PJM Connext, L.L.C., itself a subsidiary of PJM Interconnection. PJM Interconnection is the power grid operator and wholesale market administrator for a 13-state region of the United States serving 65 million people.
GATS is a paid subscription service that creates and tracks a generator-specific electronic certificate for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced by a generator. The system tracks the environmental and emissions attributes of generation, along with the ownership of credits as they are traded or used to meet governmental renewable-energy standards.
The collaboration will focus on the PJM region of the GATS market, and aims to develop, test, and make available a full implementation of the blockchain-based EW Origin toolkit. EW Origin helps unlock renewables investments by reducing administrative and transaction costs, modernizing user experience, and enabling greater access for renewable energy markets (including for smaller buyers and sellers below the megawatt-hour level).
“We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Energy Web Foundation and gain experience with a new technology,” said Ken Schuyler, president of PJM-EIS. “Our customers have expressed interest in incorporating blockchain technology into our services, and we look forward to leveraging the technology where it can provide additional benefits.”
EW Origin, which runs on the Energy Web Chain, is a toolkit for renewable energy markets across the globe that leverages blockchain technology to record the provenance and automatically track the ownership of renewably generated energy. EWF is developing EW Origin as an open-source toolkit for issuing bodies and registries across the globe that oversee renewable energy certificate (REC), guarantee of origin (GO), international renewable energy certificate (I-REC), and other similar green energy attribute systems.
EWF will develop the full EW Origin toolkit for a reference implementation in collaboration with PJM-EIS between October 2018 and November 2019. EWF will also manage pilots of EW Origin in the PJM region in coordination with PJM-EIS and various key market participants to test the toolkit in real-world settings and collect feedback for improvements. PJM-EIS will advise this development to ensure the implementation meets business, regulatory, technological needs for issuing, trading, tracking, retiring, and reporting RECs in GATS.
EWF’s goal with the collaboration is to demonstrate how large numbers of distributed energy assets—in the tens or hundreds of thousands—can participate in renewable energy certificate markets, operating at a price point where it is economically feasible to bring even small rooftop solar installations to these markets. EW Origin can do this by standardizing and automating processes such as physical asset registration, asset authentication through digital signatures, secure data logging, REC creation and validation, REC ownership registration, and REC retirement.
EWF will make the full EW Origin toolkit publicly available for reference and use as a template by other REC, GO, and I-REC trading and tracking systems so that application developers can build and deploy their own modernized technology services for issuing bodies, registries, and market participants across the globe. Application developers may also reference and use the EW Origin toolkit to develop electric vehicle, battery, and other energy-focused applications running on the EW Chain where enhanced traceability of energy generation provides value.