Frequently Asked Questions
The Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System (MIRECS) issues, tracks and enables trading and retirement of credits through a unique, traceable serial number issued for every megawatt hour (MWh) of qualifying energy generated by facilities registered with MIRECS. The credit types include Michigan Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), Advanced Cleaner Energy Credits (ACECs) and Michigan Incentive Renewable Energy Credits (ICs). Energy Optimization Credits (EOCs) will be added at a later time. The system is set up to also support linkages with other state and regional renewable energy market programs.
Yes. The Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System was developed to serve as the tool to implement and verify compliance with the Michigan clean, renewable, and efficient energy act. MIRECS can also be utilized for transactions in the voluntary marketplace.
With the Registry, all participants in the Michigan market are able to take advantage of a trusted infrastructure to help manage their role in the market. Benefits include:
- Provides easy to use Web-based system
- Ensures highest levels of transparency, quality, security, accountability and protection against double counting
- Delivers full documentation, public reports & detailed audit trails for oversight
- Extends to meet specific state requirements
- Drives continued growth of clean energy generation and usage
- Offers proven, rapid client service and support
- Tracks Michigan compliance as well the voluntary eligibilities, including Green-e Energy and Low Impact Hydro Institute
MIRECS stores and publicly displays renewable energy generator and project information. MIRECS also facilitates independent third-party certification and auditing of renewable energy generator projects as well as certificate retirement records.
Once a generating asset is registered and appropriate certificate documentation, affidavits and attestations are uploaded, the MIRECS administrator will issue one Renewable Energy Credit or Advanced Cleaner Energy Credit for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of eligible energy reported to MIRECS. Applicable Incentive Renewable Energy Credits will also be issued at this time. The asset owner then uses MIRECS to transfer credits to another account holder or retire the credits.
MIRECS ensures the integrity of the credits through a transaction-based data structure designed to prevent double-counting and provide full audit trail capabilities. Additionally, MIRECS provides numerous publicly accessible reports that list Account Holders, the status of generators and projects, and information about both issued and retired certificates.
The Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System is powered by the most widely used, highest volume, and technically advanced environmental market infrastructure that has been developed over nearly a decade. With more than 2 billion certificates under management, APX market infrastructure sets the standard for ensuring integrity in environmental markets. As an independent and trusted provider of infrastructure solutions, APX is fully committed to the highest market transparency and a level playing field for all market participants and stakeholders. We do not make markets or take principal positions in environmental transactions, and are not a bank, brokerage or marketer.
Every generator has to provide documentation substantiating the generation of renewable energy. The documentation requirements can include metering records, official filings with the Energy Information Administration as well as independent reporting from qualified third parties.
One can have an account in the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System. Obtaining an account requires completing the account registration process and paying the account registration fees.
A renewable energy project can be registered by anyone who has legal title to the project. Typically this would be a generator owner or a project developer.
What renewable energy generation technology does the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System accept?
The Registry accepts renewable and alternative energy generation technologies that are eligible under Michigan’s Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy act.
Generation data can be issued for generation up to one year prior to Generator approval in MIRECS. The lone exception to this is for facilities that register before March 31, 2010 as they will be able to load generation data going back to January 1 2009. No Credits will be issued for generation prior to January 1 2009.
Will participants be allowed to have a third party retire credits on their behalf? Or do they need to have their own accounts?
Will an Account Holder be permitted to retire for the Michigan RPSn behalf of other partner organizations; or will each entity need to register individual accounts?
The Michigan Public Service Commision requires that every Michigan Electric Service Provider retire Credits only for their own obligation.
Is the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System an exchange? Can I trade credits on the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System?
The Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System is not an exchange. An exchange matches buyers and sellers in a transaction, and the Registry does not do this. Buyers and sellers may identify each other using reports and public documents provided by the Registry, but deal negotiation and financial transactions happen outside the Registry. Once the financial transaction occurs, the seller uses the Registry to transfer certificates into the buyer’s account. So the Registry is the system of record to complete the physical transaction, perform the transfer, and reflect the sale.
Can credits from other registries be transferred into or out of the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System?
Currently, the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System allows RECs to be transferred between the following registries:
- From MIRECS to NAR
- From NAR to MIRECS
- From M-RETS to MIRECS
- From PJM-GATS to MIRECS
Michigan Electric Service Provider Account: This type of Account can hold, transfer (outgoing and incoming), and Retire Credits. A Michigan Electric Service Provider Account can also register and maintain Assets and have Credits issued to it for its Assets. NOTE: A Michigan Electric Service Provider Account is the only type of Account that can Retire Credits for compliance with PA295.
Non-profit Wholesale Power Provider Account: A non-profit entity that supplies wholesale electric power to one or more Michigan electric service providers that maintain a Michigan Electric Service Provider Account. This type of Account can hold, transfer (outgoing and incoming), and Retire Credits. This Account type can also register and maintain Assets and have Credits issued to it for its Assets.
General Account: This type of Account can hold, transfer (outgoing and incoming), and Retire credits. A General Account can also register and maintain Assets and have Credits issued to it for its Assets.
Project Account: This type of Account can register Assets and have Credits issued to it for its Assets. A Project Account can hold, transfer (only outgoing transfers), withdraw and retire Credits. A Project Account cannot receive transfers from other parties.
Retail Purchaser Account: This type of Account is for retail purchasers of Credits. A Retail Purchaser Account can hold, accept incoming transfers, and retire Credits. They can also register and maintain Assets that are under 1MW in capacity and have Credits issued in their Account. A Retail Purchaser Account cannot make outgoing transfers.
Qualified Reporting Entity (QRE)/ Verifier Account: An Account Holder with a QRE Account is assigned to an Asset and is responsible for verifying generation or storage information from that Asset. MIRECS tracks the specific types of Assets for which QRE’s are approved to provide services, ensuring that they are suitably qualified and accredited. The QRE Account cannot hold Credits.
Program Administrator Account: This type of Account is provided to administrators of compliance and voluntary programs that utilize MIRECS and/or have eligibilities noted for certain Credits. It will allow Program Administrators to review eligibilities and compliance reports. Asset details will only be displayed in a Program Administrator Account if the Account Holder registering that Asset has listed it as eligible according to the specific program/certification.
MIRECS was established by the Michigan Public Service Commission (Commission or MPSC) under authority conferred by 2008 PA 295. MIRECS is administered by APX, pursuant to a contract with the State of Michigan, Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. The Michigan Public Service Commission is the effective governing body. The Commission has delegated day-to-day administration of the contract to the Electric Reliability Division.
What provisions are there for Account Holders or other interested parties to communicate with APX and appropriate Electric Reliability Division staff members regarding MIRECS system operations and any proposed system changes or improvements?
Will a REC based on production from January 1, 2009 onward that is imported into MIRECS from M RETS translate directly into a REC in MIRECS?
Yes, subject to the qualification that imported RECs must meet the Michigan definition for renewable energy and otherwise comply with the provisions of 2008 PA 295.
How will the issuance of Michigan Incentive Credits be handled in the case of RECs imported into MIRECS?
If RECs originate in M-RETS or GATS, all applicable Michigan incentive credits will be assigned upon importation into MIRECS. The creation of incentive RECs is dependent upon proper documentation and authentication data being supplied by the originating registry. If this data is not transferred with the RECs, it will be the responsibility of the REC owner to provide affidavits and the data necessary to validate the particular Michigan incentive credit(s).
No. Users are free to develop their own or utilize third party software that will be used in conjunction with the MIRECS system, MIRECS data, and MIRECS reports. However, such user-developed or third party software used in conjunction with MIRECS shall not, in any way, interfere with, put at risk, corrupt, injure, impair, or degrade the operations of the APX developed MIRECS system. Staff is working with APX to clarify the language.
If APX notifies an Account Holder of a pending termination of access, or an Account Holder finds access to their account has been terminated, will the Account Holder have a right to appeal and a right and opportunity to cure any problem that results in access termination?
Yes. The MIRECS dispute resolution procedures may be used.
The Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System strikes a balance between respecting the privacy of certain account holders and providing the public with complete Registry transparency. As a result, MIRECS provides a number of publicly accessible reports that provide comprehensive information about the renewable projects without requiring account holders to disclose their presence or their credit inventory. The Public Reports provide comprehensive information about all renewable energy projects.
Any account holder in possession of credits, including their own, can retire the credits.
MIRECS uses the MISO definition of On Peak Hours. On Peak period is defined as Period of time from 0700 hours EST through 2200 hours EST ( Hour 7 and 22 inclusive) Monday through Friday except New Year’s, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day or if the holiday occurs on a Sunday, the Monday immediately following the holiday.
The definition of Qualifying Michigan Equipment is the construction of equipment directly relating to the renewable energy systems. The ancillary equipment used to operate or access a generating station or substation should not be included in this calculation.
APX is the leading infrastructure provider for environmental and energy markets in renewable energy and greenhouse gases including renewable energy certificates (RECs), energy efficiency and conservation certificates, carbon offset certificates such as voluntary emissions reductions (VERs), and greenhouse gas emission allowances. For more information, please visit the APX page.