Power Ledger, Japan’s Kepco extend blockchain energy collaboration

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From pv magazine Australia

Perth-based Power Ledger and Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kepco) are extending their cooperative partnership by building on a trial project they conducted in Osaka last year.

Under their new deal, Kepco will use Power Ledger’s blockchain-enabled platform to create, track, trade and provide for the settlement of renewable energy credits generated by rooftop solar systems.

So-called non-fossil value (NFV) credits enable electricity retailers to obtain renewable energy certificates (REC) for electricity that has been fed back into the grid from PV systems. In the next phase of their collaboration, Power Ledger’s decentralized ledger technology will ensure that every transaction is immutably recorded in real time, while tracing RECs from generation to retirement in order to prevent them from being used more than once.

“The energy market is one of the biggest economies in the world, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Power Ledger is working with large energy retailers, such as Kepco, to help them innovate their existing business models for customers,” said Jemma Green, Power Ledger’s co-founder and executive chairman.

The new trial extends the companies’ successful efforts to test peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of surplus feed-in tariff (FIT) electricity in Osaka. As Japan’s FIT has now come to an end, the second trial will explore new ways to benefit from rooftop PV installations.

“We identified there were additional opportunities to build on our original successful trial with Power Ledger to create an innovative business model for P2P energy trading between participants at houses, businesses and energy aggregators in Japan,” said Fumiaki Ishida, representative general manager at Kepco.

The first trial project demonstrated that communities could be provided with cheaper energy alternatives to offset existing energy costs, while allowing customers to monetize their renewable energy investments by selling surplus energy via Power Ledger’s P2P trading platform. The second trial project is scheduled to start this month, with initial results expected in March.

Power Ledger is now running projects in countries such as Japan, Thailand, the United States and Australia. Last month, it announced the first large-scale commercial rollout of its technology on its home turf. Under a deal with electricity wholesaler Powerclub, South Australian households will be able to pool their net solar and battery storage systems to act as a virtual power plant and gain access to wholesale electricity prices.