BIG IDEA! Could residential solar combine to create marketable Renewable Energy Credits?

May 2023

(And yes, we’re going to be talking blockchain here)

By day Jason Kaasovic is an energy consultant with TruNorth Solar, but by night he is digging into an intriguing idea... Could residential solar installations be bundled together to create Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) of value?

Jason Kaasovic

Photo courtesy of Jason Kaasovic.

Jason, what is the idea here?

The main goal is make it easy for local, small solar pv systems to participate in voluntary green markets with the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) their systems generate (1 MWh solar energy). I would say that those markets are hard to access for small systems and largely organized to support enterprise groups, so we had to build a tool that allows for aggregation and scaling. Besides enabling participation in the voluntary green market for local groups, I also wanted to build tools that start from a customer owned device and allows more autonomy for people to manage their energy and assets — hallmarks to web3renewables (Jason’s company) and blockchain development.

How does it work?

In order for us to generate a recognized and valuable REC for the market, we need to register solar pv systems and then provide ongoing energy reporting to a tracking registry.

The data comes to us raw from the device and we need to transform that into a presentable format with all the right attributes. With that report submitted and project registered successfully we then begin to see RECs accumulate in a Web3 Renewables managed account. Blockchain technology shows up in how we register the assets, assign permissions for who can create new systems, and also how we store the daily/monthly generation logs, which happens on IPFS (InterPlanetary File System).

What do you need to make this successful?

Ongoing success for the project will ultimately be about connecting generators who produce RECs with off-takers who want them. The setup and transaction process are still a bit manual so that hampers scaling initially but contracts and transactions could automate to make it easier and more accessible.

Next steps include simplifying the purchasing process so people can make use of the green energy supply we can now create, and growing a verified index of assets to work with. Ideally I would like to partner with business organizations who know they want to participate in equitable development to reduce their emissions, as well as partner with development groups or installers who want to leverage the platform to aggregate the resources they plan to build.

If you can find a buyer for these RECs, who ultimately would get the profits from them? You, the homeowner, some other identified project?

I would like to see the majority of the benefit going to the system owners themselves with Web3 Renewables working as an automated service taking a small % to facilitate the transaction.

In my work developing solar throughout Minnesota I've seen how powerful REC sales can be in making projects affordable and I'm passionate about ensuring the voluntary market space includes local businesses and individuals, not just utility scale projects like wind farms. Also, I believe some projects are of greater value and impact in terms of equitable development, and I'm proud that the system provides insights into the origination of the REC, so companies could know they are supporting residents at a low-income housing project, for example, or a collection of rural schools in their district. Typically REC markets do not recognize or value those attributes uniquely, but that's changing as the industry as a whole moves towards granularity, so I'm happy to be at the front of that change.

Where is this project so far?

It's live! You can check out the very modest landing page at but the system itself is in closed beta, so just me operating it. We've launched the service on mainnet, I've registered newly constructed solar pv systems that I helped build this year, and we made our first retirement! It was pretty exciting to share that while presenting at the Sustainable Blockchain Summit in Boston (April 13, 2023). The retirement Web3 Renewables completed during that event helped make data storage green for CERN's particle accelerator work, survivor stories from Auschwitz, as well as blackhole research. 

This year I'll continue to enroll new systems and build a supply pool of active RECs available for purchase.

In a perfect world, what do you imagine this could look like in the future?

In the future I'd like to develop the protocol so the full lifecycle of exchange is better supported and easier for Farmers Joe or Jane, for example, to sell their RECs. Beyond that, the main goal of the project was to develop a secure and scalable toolset that can manage grid-connected assets like batteries, EV chargers, heat pumps, etc.

With the initial work done and showing promise we're demonstrating what interoperability looks like with blockchain enabled contract automation. In the next phase I'd like to show how we can reduce our overall carbon emissions by leveraging many assets, together, to more efficiently power our local grid, manage loads, report on impact and direct financial savings to our communities.

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