People in Perth and the south west may soon have the power to buy, sell or swap excess solar energy with anyone connected to the Western Power network, if trials commencing today prove successful for Perth company Power Ledger.
“We’re all electricity consumers, and many of us are now electricity producers with roof-top solar panels,” said Power Ledger Chair Jemma Green
“Power Ledger will enable producers and consumers to trade their energy directly –saving money, hassle and maximising the use of clean, green, solar energy.”
Power Ledger is tapping into the massive disruption of energy markets happening all across the world, but particularly here in Perth. The dynamics of electricity production, distribution and trading are changing: Power Ledger will enable consumers to play a more direct role in these processes, and have more control over their electricity production and consumption than ever before.
“For many consumers, the decision to put solar panels on their roofs wasn’t just about saving money or saving the environment; it was an investment decision. The ability to now sell their excess energy to other customers represents the return on their investment,” she said.
“Just as Airbnb and Uber have up-ended the hospitality and transport markets, Power Ledger has the potential to change forever the way we buy and sell energy to power our homes,” said Ms Green
Power Ledger uses blockchain-based technology to identify the ownership of energy as it is generated and then to manage multiple trading agreements between consumers who buy excess solar direct from the original owner/producer – all without the addition of market costs and commercial margins.
“The owners of excess energy can sell their surplus to their neighbours for less than the uniform tariff but more than they would get from selling it to their retailer,” Green said. “Effectively, we’re cutting out the middle-man to save consumers, and to maximise returns for producers.”
“It’s a win for the people who have been able to afford to invest in roof-top solar, but also a win for customers who haven’t: they will be able to access clean, renewable energy at effectively a ‘wholesale’ rate. Everyone wins,” said Ms Green.
“The benefits of distributed renewable energy will flow on to those who, at the moment, can least afford to participate; we think that’s pretty special,” she said.
Power Ledger has signed an agreement with National Lifestyle Villages to trial the technology at their Busselton site where there is a good mix of consumers with and without solar panels.
“National Lifestyle Villages is excited to work with Power Ledger in the trial of their energy trading software at our Busselton Lifestyle Village. NLV is proud of our commitment to the environment and to providing affordable and sustainable lifestyles for over 45’s. Our Busselton Lifestyle Village is home to a very passionate, progressive, and environmentally aware community that is known for taking the initiative and being innovative in order to achieve positive environmental outcomes. The Power Ledger trial will help to demonstrate the value opportunity created through solar energy, and we look forward to better understanding how solar, battery storage, and smart energy technology can deliver positive outcomes for NLV, our clients, and the environment.” Says Steve McGill, sustainability manager from National Lifestyle Villages.
The pilot project with Natonal Lifestyle Villages will help demonstrate the capability of the technology with plans for a second trial currently in development for a site in the Perth metropolitan area, scheduled for the first half of 2017.
Synergy and LandCorp are all supportively involved in discussions on the subsequent trial.