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Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and the province of Manitoba have announced plans to implement the Midwest Renewable Tracking System (M-RETS), a regional renewable energy tracking system.

Four jurisdictions in the Upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Manitoba, currently have policies requiring or encouraging the development and use of renewable resources. M-RETS will provide a tool for these jurisdictions to collect data on renewable energy production and provide a mechanism for monitoring their respective goals, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) says. In addition, M-RETS will promote trading credits with neighboring jurisdictions in the region to help meet policy requirements.

"This tracking system creates a market-based trading program for Wisconsin and our neighboring states," says Dan Ebert, PSC's chair. "This innovative project will keep the costs of renewable energy down and will encourage more renewable energy development - helping Wisconsin meet Governor Jim Doyle's challenge to provide 25 percent of the state's energy from renewables by the year 2025."

The PSC has signed a contract with APX Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based technology provider for the renewable energy industry, to implement M-RETS. The length of the contract awarded to APX is for four years, and the system will become operational this summer, PSC adds. Several other states and provinces in the region are expected to join as the program progresses.

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