Blockchain-enabled retail PPAs in Australia


From pv magazine Australia

Blockchain-enabled renewables marketplace WePower said this week that it has delivered its Elemental technology for retail power purchase agreements (PPAs) to Mojo Power. 

Mojo Power will use Elemental to set up Mojo Marketplace, which will allow small business and corporate customers to purchase locally produced renewable energy in the form of standard retail energy contracts in Australia. 

WePower CTO Kaspar Kaarlep told pv magazine Australia how electricity generated by the Robinvale Solar Farm in Victoria can now reach business customers.

“The initial wholesale PPA between Robinvale’s owners and Mojo is tokenized by WePower and stored on the Ethereum blockchain, so that it can be structured into smaller retail PPAs and made available to these customers,” he said. “(This forms a) direct contractual link between the generating project and the end customer’s energy purchase.” 

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The technology allows WePower to form itself into the “connective tissue” between industry consumers and renewable energy generators, Kaarlep said. For consumers, this means easier access to energy in an online shopping environment, and for producers it means easier access to consumers. 

“With wholesale energy prices at historic lows due to the surge in renewable generation capacity in Australia, retail PPAs provide energy users with exposure to these low wholesale prices, effectively locking in savings over traditional retail energy for the life of the contract,” continued Kaarlep. 

Unfortunately, businesses that have already installed their own solar systems cannot contribute to the virtual power plant (VPP) at this time. But as Kaarlep noted, “they can supplement their retail PPA purchase with solar power generated behind the meter. Such behind-the-meter generation and storage can be readily incorporated into the retail agreement. Its contribution to the overall supply will be tracked by the marketplace alongside the external renewable project.”  

Mojo also has contracts with the Riverina Solar Farm in New South Wales, and several more large-scale solar farms throughout Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Generation from these farms will eventually be added to the Mojo Marketplace, along with multiple other agreements currently in the pipeline. 

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