The challenges of integrating distributed energy production and alignment with demand could be addressed through blockchain technology and data analytics.
Power Ledger is trialling the use of blockchain-powered distributed energy and water systems. It is gathering academics, infrastructure, and technology experts to assess how cities can use this technology for the integration of renewables.
The trial will involve highly resilient, low-carbon and low-cost systems installed and connected using blockchain technology. A large solar PV plant, rooftop solar PV panels, a precinct-sized battery, an electric vehicle charging station and a precinct water capture and treatment system will be managed using this technology and data analytics. This will demonstrate how blockchain works with assets that are either co-located or located in different locations, such as an off-site solar farm planned for South Fremantle.
In April 2018, Power Ledger announced a trial partnership with Japan’s second largest energy retailer KEPCO. The trial will help renewable energy customers better monetise their investments, and help KEPCO develop virtual energy power plants to better support the demands of the wider energy market.
In May 2018, Power Ledger struck a deal with Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, for the first commercial deployment of its technology platform. This deployment will enable Northwestern to trade the power generated by solar panels on university buildings between facilities without investing in any technology of its own, with Power Ledger collecting a small percentage of each trade.
Power Ledger will create and maintain a blockchain platform which enables electricity metering, big data acquisition, rapid micro transactions and grid management at an unprecedented granular scale.
The Australian Government will provide 2.57 million AUD in direct funding and another 5.68 million AUD will be provided by project partners including Curtin University, Murdoch University, Curtin Institute of Computation, LandCorp, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)/Data 61 and Cisco.
Trading in embedded networks breaks the nexus between renewables generation ownership and energy consumption, meaning value can be derived from an investment in distributed energy resources even when the investor is absent or doesn’t consume all the energy they generate.