Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) has teamed with blockchain startup Power Ledger to trial peer-to-peer (p2p) renewable energy trading.
KEPCO is Japan’s second largest electricity supplier, with 164 power generation facilities operating on nuclear, hydroelectric, thermal, solar, and wind power. Kansai region, the company’s operational area, is Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. KEPCO has a market capitalization of over $13 billion.
Power Ledger provides a immutable market trading and clearing mechanism for residential and commercial businesses to decide who they want to sell their surplus energy to and at what price. The micro-grid technology developed by company is already being trialled in Thailand and India. In November 2017, Power Ledger received an AU$8.25 million ($6.2M USD) grant from the Australian government to create the country’s first green city in Fremantle.
Under the trial, KEPCO will share meter data from participants, initially up to 10 homes, at the chosen sites in Osaka City, Japan. Power Ledger will provide KEPCO access to its trading platform to facilitate and monitor energy trading between participants to increase the incentive for the development of renewable distributed energy resources (DER).
The goal is to provide communities with cheap power and to allow people to sell their energy to their peers. KEPCO intends to build ‘virtual power plants’ in which “where consumer-owned generating and storage capacity can be used to support local energy demands.”
David Martin, Power Ledger Managing Director and Co-founder, said that the purpose of the trial was to give KEPCO comfort in a new technology paradigm while also demonstrating the benefit of peer-to-peer trading.
“The trial will give material feedback around the technology and opportunity for adoption,” Martin said. “We’re excited to partner with KEPCO to implement our platform in Japan and bring Power Ledger one step closer to our goal of democratizing power.”
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