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Western renewable energy tracking system draft operating rules distributed; stakeholder comments sought by April 16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2004

Contacts:
Chris McKinnon, Western Governors' Association (303) 623-9378
Percy Della, California Energy Commission, (916) 654-5027
Jeff Burks, Utah Energy Office, (801) 538-5414

DENVER - The Operational Rules Committee of the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) today released draft interim operating rules that include recommendations on the functions and operating guidelines of a system to track and verify renewable electricity generation in the West.

WREGIS, which is being funded by the Western Governors' Association (WGA), the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) and the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), will encompass 11 western states, two Canadian provinces and northern Baja -- the area covered by the Western Interconnect.

WREGIS is expected to be operational in 2005. It is envisioned to operate as an independent accounting system and database that will track renewable energy generation and ownership of renewable energy certificates within the Interconnect.

Over the past three months, the WREGIS Operational Rules Committee (ORC) and Data Interface Subcommittee (DISC) have conducted weekly conference calls to develop these draft recommendations. More than 600 stakeholders have been asked to participate in the development of the WREGIS tracking system.

"The development of draft operating rules for WREGIS is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and has truly been a collaborative effort." said Pam Inmann, Executive Director of the Western Governors' Association. "The participation of stakeholders, representing a wide range of interests from all areas of the Western Interconnect, has been critical to making determinations about all aspects of how the renewable energy tracking system will function in the West.

"WREGIS will become instrumental in the fulfillment of California's Renewable Portfolio Standard, "said Energy Commissioner John Geesman, chair of the Commission's Renewables Committee. Geesman said "the system will ensure that renewable energy production is transparent, precise and accurate as our state strives to meet its RPS goal of producing 20 percent of its electricity supply from renewable sources by 2010."

Anyone interested in reviewing these draft rules is encouraged to access them via the Web at: http://www.westgov.org/wieb/wregis/documents.htm. Since development of final operating rules is on a tight timeframe, written comments are requested by no later than April 16th, and should be sent to Jennifer Martin, the ORC technical staff, at jmartin@resource-solutions.org.

Once comments are received, the ORC will be holding two conference calls on April 23rd and April 30th to review and incorporate stakeholder comments as appropriate. These calls are open to any interested participants.

California Energy Commission Chairman Bill Keese will brief western Governors on the status of WREGIS at WGA's North American Energy Summit April 14 16th in Albuquerque, N.M.

About the Western Governors' Association
The Western Governors' Association is an independent, nonprofit organization representing the governors of 18 states and three U.S.-flag islands in the Pacific. Through their Association, the governors identify and address key policy and governance issues related to natural resources, the environment, human services, economic development, international relations and public management.

Increased renewable energy development will be a key topic at WGA's North American Energy Summit on April 14 16, 2004, in Albuquerque, N.M. The Western Regional Air Partnership, which is managed by WGA and the National Tribal Environmental Council, has also supported the WREGIS because of its potential to encourage renewable energy development and reduce emissions that cause haze. Additional information is available on the Web at www.westgov.org and www.wrapair.org.

About the California Energy Commission
Based in Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission was created by the Legislature in 1974 to fulfill five major responsibilities. It is tasked with forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

When California's electricity industry was deregulated in 1998, the Energy Commission took on the additional roles of overseeing funding programs that support public interest energy research; advancing energy science and technology through research, development and demonstration; and providing market support to existing, new and emerging renewable technologies.

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