- District of Columbia regulators last month announced the launch of an online portal that aims to streamline the process for individuals and businesses to be certified as renewable energy generators and provides monthly updates of generators in the program.
- The D.C. city council in December approved a 100% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2032. The law also requires the PSC to track and report a variety of renewable energy data points, including the number of generators and availability of resources.
- The city designed the RPS program to establish a market in the District for electricity from renewable sources. Electricity suppliers can meet RPS requirements by buying renewable energy credits from consumers or others generating energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources.
The city of Washington, D.C., does not have significant generation within its borders, and largely works towards clean energy mandates through the through the purchase of renewable energy credits. But with a 100% renewables goal, regulators want to make the process for bringing clean energy online as simple as possible.
The D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) says the new RPS portal will help reduce application processing times, improve data gathering and enable communications between the commission and applicants. Renewable generators, including behind-the-meter generators, must be certified as a qualified Tier I (including solar energy systems) or Tier II resources, to qualify as RPS generators.
The new portal shows the commission has delivered on its "commitment to start streamlining our processes," PSC Chairman Willie Phillips said in a statement, adding that the portal will "help achieve the District’s climate policy goals by making it easier to approve and track renewable resources."
Every year, the PSC is required to update the city council on the status of RPS implementation, and must report several figures, including the number of renewable generators approved by the commission and the availability of renewable resources. The commission must also report on the certified number of renewable energy credits generated by the utilities complying with the District's current RPS law, which is heading towards 100% renewable electricity generation in a little more than a decade.
The commission will provide monthly updates on certified renewable generators via the portal and created an interactive map where all certified renewable generators in the district can be found.
D.C.'s decision last year to go to 100% renewables is part of a trend of cities picking up the climate change mantle as the federal government has backed off. More than 90 U.S. cities and towns have already committed to sourcing electricity from 100% renewable resources, according to the Sierra Club, which tracks announcements.