Energy Blockchain Organization EW Launches Blockchain Platform For Trading Renewables In Latin America

Blockchain, News | June 24, 2020 By:

Energy blockchain organization Energy Web (EW) and electricity retailer Mercados Eléctricos (MERELEC) have completed the first stage in developing a digital, blockchain-based renewable energy marketplace platform for Central American I-REC markets.

MERELEC, which operates across Mexico and Central America, and EW said that the digital renewable energy marketplace platform is designed to meet the needs of renewable energy buyers, including multinational corporations with 100% renewable energy targets across their global portfolios. The platform is being built using the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), including the EW Chain and EW Origin software development toolkit.

According to EW, platforms built with EW Origin help streamline the full renewable energy procurement lifecycle — from device registration to certificate issuance, trading, and retirement — to reduce the cost and complexity of meeting the “proof of impact” needs of buyers across the globe.

MERELEC’s pilot platform, which is aligned with The International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC) Standard, reportedly onboarded about 20 renewable energy devices in El Salvador to trade I-RECs from verified renewables generation. Up to 200 devices in El Salvador with a total capacity of more than 1.3 GW are planned to be added to this pilot platform in the near future before onboarding more assets from across the region. Assets range from small-scale solar PV and micro-hydro systems to utility-scale renewable facilities such as large hydro, geothermal, and biogas/biomass.

“Given its use of EW Origin, MERELEC’s pilot platform is prepared to synchronize with I-REC device registration and tracking systems to promote good industry practices,” the release said. “I-RECs are the recognized energy attribute certificate for voluntary renewable energy purchases across most of Latin America, where one I-REC equals one megawatt-hour of renewably generated electricity. In Central America, authorized issuance countries include Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama. Energy Web is supporting MERELEC with gathering the materials necessary to approve El Salvador as an authorized I-REC issuance country.”

The two companies are now looking for corporate renewable energy buyers to test and provide direct feedback to inform and improve the pilot platform. This will enable corporate renewable energy buyers to evaluate new renewable energy procurement solutions, ensure the pilot platform meets their proof-of-impact needs, and contribute to the development of publicly available technologies.

“We expect that this platform will ultimately help us grow our renewable energy business and help our customers obtain the most profitable and resilient economic prospects for their renewable systems by selling renewables directly to buyers in a lower-cost, more-efficient way,” said Carlos Chávez, Director of Projects & Investments at MERELEC. “The progress to-date shows great promise about the viability of using this platform to scale our business and expand renewables across Central America, starting in El Salvador.”

“We are proud of the rapid progress we have already made to introduce this leapfrog digital solution to make it easier for any buyer to help accelerate the energy transition in Central America and help renewable energy project owners increase revenue expectations for new projects,” said Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web. “We look forward to continuing our support with MERELEC to bring this pilot platform to the market and expand regional I-REC markets.”