Renewable energy systems produce more than electricity. They also provide environmental, social and other benefits by offsetting power that might otherwise be generated by burning fossil fuels. These additional benefits are called environmental attributes or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
For every megawatt hour of electricity generated by a renewable energy system, one REC is created. RECs are tradable financial instruments that represent the environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable resources.
The Energy Trust incentive customers receive for their renewable energy systems comes from the customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) or Pacific Power. Energy Trust requests a portion of the RECs generated by all incentivized renewable energy systems. We work to deliver the RECs we claim to PGE and Pacific Power for the benefit of the customers that make our incentive payments possible.
For standard solar systems, review this fact sheet to learn more about RECs. For custom solar, biopower, hydropower, geothermal and wind projects, we negotiate our share of RECs with the project owner.