Freo in energy trial

FREMANTLE households will be the first in the country to take part in a renewable energy trial where they can trade excess solar power with their neighbours.

In the Renew Nexus trial, Freo households who have rooftop solar panels can use peer-to-peer trading technology, developed by Power Ledger, to directly buy and sell surplus solar energy.

Currently users must pre-purchase ‘Sparkz’, which are like credits they can trade in exchange for energy, using digital smart contracts.

WA energy minister Ben Wyatt called the trial “an innovative solution to virtual energy trading”, and that Freo was the “first in the world to be taking part in an active, billed, peer-to-peer trading trial that allows them to effectively buy and sell solar energy.”

“…whilst Power Ledger’s platform utilises blockchain technology, for this trial, customers are billed in Australian dollars and do not hold any digital currency…transactions and payments are recovered via Synergy as per a normal billing process”, while the “Power Ledger platform measures and monitors trading activity using smart metering with settlement occurring via the Synergy bill.”

Power Ledger founder Jemma Green is hopeful the technology could “become the denomination for the photovoltaic and renewable energy industry”, similar to the US petrodollar, paid to oil-exporting countries in exchange for oil.

About 40 households are due to take part in the Renew trial, which will run until June next year.

by JUSTIN STAHL

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