Blockchain helping Fremantle residents trade solar power

Elizabeth Barry 30 November 2016

solar power using blockchain

Residents in a new affordable housing development will be able to take advantage of the technology.

A new affordable housing development in Fremantle will allow residents to trade their surplus solar power with neighbours using blockchain technology. The apartments are offered by Landcorp, a government arm in Western Australia, with the blockchain platform hosted by Perth startup Power Ledger.

Blockchain, a distributed ledger technology, involves the transfer of data using blocks, with each set of data confirmed and replicated as it moves down the chain. This allows for a secure and transparent transfer.

The introduction of blockchain technology to the power sector may present a challenge for energy retailers, as households will be able to sell their surplus power at a higher rate than they can sell to the grid.

The innovative new apartments are expected to be purchased by young people, with the three one-bedroom apartments housed in the suitably called Gen Y development, and will cost approximately $400,000 each. Each apartment has shared solar panels and a large battery.

Power Ledger handles the transfer of surplus power directly, with the platform crediting and charging occupants for the solar power they buy and sell. The startup is planning a similar blockchain-based trial in a retirement village in Southwest WA and also New Zealand.

Blockchain technology is being used in a range of industries, including hotel bookings through travel booking site Webjet and also by some of Australia's largest banks. Experiments are also taking place overseas, including in London where a blockchain payments card is in development.

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