Power Ledger to roll out blockchain energy trading tech to WA apartments

Through blockchain, the company says it will deliver 100% renewable energy through an embedded electricity network and solar PV and storage microgrid.

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Nicheliving's planned Beaufort Street project in Inglewood, Western Australia.

Image: Supplied

Australian startup Power Ledger has announced the signing of a three-year deal that would see it roll out blockchain energy trading technology to around 100 apartments in Western Australia.

The deal would see the blockchain-focused company install its platform across 10 residential developments that will be built by Nicheliving in the Perth metropolitan region.

Through the joint venture Connected Communities Energy with Nicheliving, Power Ledger's blockchain technology will be developed for use at Nicheliving's SkyHomes Inglewood development, as well as at future housing developments over the next three years, to manage energy delivery and trading.

See also: Aussie blockchain startup Power Ledger wants changes to ICO tax rules

SkyHomes will boast 62 apartments and according to the companies, will deliver 100% renewable energy through an embedded electricity network and solar PV and storage microgrid.

It will then move to a further 40 apartments in East Cannington.

"We're seeing an emerging trend of project developers considering more low cost and low carbon energy supplies during the design phase of their projects. Power Ledger's platform incentivises homeowners to invest in solar energy infrastructure," Power Ledger co-founder and chairman Dr Jemma Green said.

Power Ledger said its platform would track energy consumption and transactions, enabling residential developments to sell surplus solar energy to other residents to "make the distribution of power more efficient" and "make the most out of the solar energy generated".

"The relationship with Power Ledger will help us deliver on our commitment to building more sustainable communities for Western Australian home owners," Nicheliving managing director Ronnie Michel-Elhaj said.

The Perth-based company said it is also working with property developers to implement its energy trading software to provide solar and storage in people's homes as well as in shopping centre developments.

Read also: Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Power Ledger's platform is currently active in the National Electricity Network (NEM) in South Australia. It added that it expects the platform's reach to expand to the east coast of Australia within the next six months.

The company also touted it had active projects in countries including Austria, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, and the United States.

The Australian government's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) gave advice over a year ago to those getting lost in the buzz of blockchain that they should turn their attention elsewhere.

DTA chief digital officer Peter Alexander also dunked on its use, adding that "for every use of blockchain you would consider today, there is a better technology -- alternate databases, secure connections, standardised API engagement".

"Blockchain: Interesting technology but early on in its development, it's kind of at the top of a hype cycle," he said.

The government entity has even published a questionnaire for organisations to self-evaluate before bothering with something that could just be stored in a secure database.

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