Australian residents in Perth and the South West may soon be able to use blockchain technology to buy, sell or swap excess solar energy with anyone connected to the countries Western Power network, if the trials that are commencing today prove successful for the Perth company Power Ledger.
Power Ledger Chair, Jemma Green explained: “We’re all electricity consumers, and many of us are now electricity producers with roof-top solar panels. Power Ledger will enable producers and consumers to trade their energy directly –saving money, hassle and maximising the use of clean, green, solar energy. The ability to now sell their excess energy to other customers represents the return on their investment. Just as Airbnb and Uber have up-ended the hospitality and transport markets, Power Ledger has the potential to change forever the way we buy and sell energy to power our homes,”
Power Ledger is hoping to exploit the disruption of energy markets across the world, but particularly in Perth. The dynamics of electricity production, distribution and trading are changing: Power Ledger aims to enable consumers to take an active role in these processes, and have more control over their electricity production and consumption.
Power Ledger uses blockchain-based technology to identify the ownership of energy as it is generated and then to manage multiple trading agreements between consumers who buy excess solar direct from the original owner or producer, removing the market costs and commercial margins.
Green continued: “The owners of excess energy can sell their surplus to their neighbours for less than the uniform tariff but more than they would get from selling it to their retailer. Effectively, we’re cutting out the middle-man to save consumers, and to maximise returns for producers. It’s a win for the people who have been able to afford to invest in roof-top solar, but also a win for customers who haven’t: they will be able to access clean, renewable energy at effectively a ‘wholesale’ rate. Everyone wins. The benefits of distributed renewable energy will flow on to those who, at the moment, can least afford to participate; we think that’s pretty special,”
Power Ledger has signed an agreement with National Lifestyle Villages to trial the technology at its Busselton site where there is a mix of consumers with and without solar panels. The pilot project with will help demonstrate the capability of the technology with plans for a second trial currently in development for a site in the Perth metropolitan area, scheduled for the first half of 2017.
Steve McGill, sustainability manager from National Lifestyle Villages, remarked: “National Lifestyle Villages is excited to work with Power Ledger in the trial of their energy trading software at our Busselton Lifestyle Village. NLV is proud of our commitment to the environment and to providing affordable and sustainable lifestyles for over 45’s. Our Busselton Lifestyle Village is home to a very passionate, progressive, and environmentally aware community that is known for taking the initiative and being innovative in order to achieve positive environmental outcomes. The Power Ledger trial will help to demonstrate the value opportunity created through solar energy, and we look forward to better understanding how solar, battery storage, and smart energy technology can deliver positive outcomes for NLV, our clients, and the environment.”