How Renewable Energy Certificates Work

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Renewable Energy Credits or green tags, represent the green or renewable attributes of energy produced by certified renewable resources.

A REC represents one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated by a qualified renewable energy resource like a wind turbine, geothermal plant or solar facility. For example, a 40-megawatt solar farm operating at maximum capacity for an hour would generate 40 RECs in addition to the electricity it puts onto the grid.

When electricity is generated from a certified renewable resource, the power is fed into the electrical grid and either sold on the wholesale market or delivered to customers. The accompanying RECs can be sold along with the energy (bundled) or separately (unbundled).

Idaho Power supports renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and we buy them as part of our portfolio mix. In turn, we sell the RECs we receive from those purchases to offset power supply costs and keep customer prices as low as possible.

Because the buyer of the REC gets to claim that power as part of its energy, Idaho Power does not represent that electricity produced by this resource mix is being delivered to our retail customers. We do support these alternate energy sources, and we pass along that credit to the organizations that buy the RECs from us. Each REC is tracked to ensure it’s used only once.

Some states require that a minimum amount of the electricity each utility delivers to its customers comes from renewable energy. Idaho Power does not currently have such a requirement.

REC prices depend on many factors including:

  • Type and location of the facility producing the RECs
  • Supply and demand
  • Whether the REC is used to comply with state renewable requirements
  • Whether it is sold with the associated energy (bundled) or separately (unbundled)