Australian government to back blockchain PV, water project

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Fremantle is to become the latest Australian location for a trial in community solar sharing, enabled by the blockchain. The latest program brings the city together with two West Australian universities, state-owned land developer Landcorp, the CSIRO, CISCO and local blockchain developer Power Ledger.

Greg Morrison, a professor at project sponsor Curtin University, said that the team will build a “smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location.”

As part of the project, the city of Fremantle will oversee the construction of a 5 MW solar installation. Power Ledger, an energy application specialist, will supply a platform that will serve as a transactional layer for the solar arrays and the ownership model for a community-owned battery. The Perth-based company, which provides peer-to-peer marketplace for renewable energy using blockchain technology, said the project will start within the next two months.

“We’re excited to break ground on this truly novel project that utilizes blockchain technology to orchestrate sustainable assets,” said Jemma Green, co-founder and chairperson of Power Ledger.

The project partners, which include Curtin University, Murdoch University, Cisco and CSIRO/Data61, aim to demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities by testing the use of blockchain technology and data analytics in conjunction with distributed energy and water systems. About $5.68 million of the total investment will come from them, as well as additional partners such as LandCorp.

Curtin University will manage the project. CSIRO and Data61 will provide statistical forecasting and systems modelling, as well as megatrend and risk analysis services, according to an online statement.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Petit said that the project aligns with the city’s One Planet zero carbon target.

The program is one of a growing number of initiatives underway in Australia to utilise blockchain technology as a part of peer-to-peer solar electricity trading. On Sunday, retailer AGL revealed it was expanding its blockchain trial in South Australia.