Power Ledger partners with Japanese utility in new trial

While some of the shine may have certain cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications, P2P energy trading facilitated by the technology continues to build momentum. In its latest deal, Power Ledger will enter the Japanese market, in partnership with KEPCO.

10 homes served by KEPCO, and equipped with smart meters and distributed generation technology, presumably solar PV but potentially fuel cells, will utilize the Power Ledger platform to trade excess energy generated onsite on a P2P basis.

The trial will provide a proof-of-concept for KEPCO, which intends to establish Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) among some of its customers.

“The energy industry is traditionally conservative, and rightly so. When they implement changes consumers are relying on them to be certain it’s the right decision,” said Power Ledger MD and co-founder David Martin in a statement.

Power Ledger deploys Blockchain technology to authenticate and document P2P energy trading between households. The company’s technology is being used in a number of trial programs in New Zealand Southeast Asia and India. It is well suited to microgrid or behind-the-meter communities, where prohibitive regulatory frameworks do not apply.

In Australia it is involved in a number of projects including with the City of Fremantle, in partnership with Greenwood solutions for strata applications in Melbourne, and with AGL in a program that is expected to report its findings later this year.

The KEPCO program is the first such trial in Japan. Power Ledger told pv magazine Australia that Japan is an ideal country for the deployment of blockchain-enabled P2P energy trading due to the willingness of many Japanese to adopt new technologies and the power challenges the country has faced in the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster.

KEPCO is one of Japan’s regional utilities supplying the Kansai region which includes the cities of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto.

Power Ledger is self-funded through its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in which it raised $34 million from 20,000 token holders, or investors.