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Nevada's Utilities Agency eyes options for the use of the blockchain in the energy sector

Nevada's Utilities Agency are considering the use of the blockchain in the energy sector

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada ― government agency, which controlling and regulating the work of public services ― consider ways to implement blockchain technology for its energy credit tracking system.

In September, the Commission tried to find out whether a blockchain-based solution can be used for tracking and certification of Portfolio Energy Credits in the field of renewable energy that they fully meet all the standards of the state.

Manufacturers of renewable energy of Nevada state earn credit portfolios, which can later be sold to utilities that then use them to comply with the Standard. One Portfolio Energy Credits represents one kilowatt-hour of electricity generated.

Ann Pongracz, member of the Public Utilities Commission, said:

"Our current tracking system NVTREC gradually becoming obsolete. NV Energy company, which is owned by investors and provides services throughout the state, no longer works with this software. This is putting additional demands on commission staff's limited time resources".

The existing alternative ― the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System, used in the Coordinating Board — has a limit of 1 MW (megawatt). According to Ann Pongracz, this limitation reduces system performance and makes it unsuitable for providing the value of the Commission.

Therefore, the Commissioner of the agency's Commissioner Bruce Breslow and Chairman Ann Wilkinson supported the proposal to use blockchain technology to address some of these shortfalls of the system. In addition, they asked the staff to study alternative technology.

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada is not the first government Agency, exploring blockchain technology for better energy operations. For example, The Arizona Corporation Commission doing the same thing. In July of this year, a group of four utilities have studied the possibility of smart contracts to implement them in the energy system of the state of new York.

In March of this year, IT company Cognizant has published a report which noted that the gradual development of public utilities will lead to the emergence of a distributed and smart energy system. The document also summarized the various options for the use of blockchain technology: the energy credit management, asset optimization, the promotion of renewable energy, advance smart meters, payments to distributed generation asset owners, etc.


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