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Australia’s Blockchain Solar Power-Trading Suburbs Take Shape

Samburaj Das on 14/12/2016


A suburb in Fremantle, Western Australia will see its apartment owners to be among the first in the country to trade solar power over a blockchain.


Solar-powered one-bedroom apartments developed by Landcorp, the development arm of the government of Western Australia are reportedly expected to be snapped up by predominantly young dwellers. These apartment-owners will soon be able to trade their any surplus solar energy over a blockchain developed by Power Ledger, a Perth startup that aims to enable owners of solar panels to sell excess energy. This beats the conventional model of selling excess energy for a lower feed-in tariff which is then sold at a higher rate from the grid.


As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Landcorp is offering three ‘Gen Y’ apartments that will share 9 KW solar panels between them, along with a large 10KWh battery.


Power Ledger co-founder Jemma Green sees massive potential for harnessing solar energy in Australia with apartments representing a quarter of all dwellings in the country. More notably, 35% to 40% of all new developments are apartments, which makes for a viable peer-to-peer energy trading ecosystem, if implemented properly.


Power Ledger is already engaging in blockchain-based solar energy trading trials in the country. The local Australian startup picked a retirement village in Busselton, Western Australia, allowing for users to trade excess solar energy amongst each other. The trial will see Raspberry Pi mini-computers put to use in order to track a house’s energy usage. Energy meters will be fitted at 20 households, along with a communal clubhouse. Actual deployments of the technology are scheduled in 2017 in Victoria and Perth.


New York-based LO3 Energy, a startup which is pushing toward the development of a community microgrid detached from the larger U.S. electricity grid sees blockchain technology to make a telling impact in the energy industry, at a time when there is an increased focus to move away from fossil fuels.


LO3 Energy founder Lawrence Orsini stated:


  “I think that there are going to be hundreds of blockchain energy companies springing up in the next couple of years. It’s going to be a really interesting time in the energy space.”

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