Virtual Solar Power Project Launched In Australia

South Australia Gets Blockchain-Enabled Virtual Rooftop Solar Power Plant Pilot Project Initiated By Powerclub, PowerLedger, Natural Solar & Sonnen
09:37 AM (Beijing Time) - 23. December 2019
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Key Takeaways

  • A new VPP pilot project for rooftop solar power generation has been launched in South Australia
  • It will allow eligible households of Powerclub grid to pool in their net solar and battery storage to feed clean power to the grid and send it to the grid to be further distributed within extended community
  • The pilot uses PowerLedger’s blockchain-enabled technology and sonnen’s batteries to be installed by solar and storage installer Natural Solar
  • It is aimed at enabling participating households from power price spikes and demand shortages while saving them from additional hidden costs and mark-ups by the electricity retailer
  • PowerLedger has also expanded its existing collaboration with KEPCO in Japan to allow the latter to provide its RE100 customers NFV certificates against RE100 claims

Four companies in Australia have come together to launch a virtual power plant (VPP) pilot project in the state of South Australia using blockchain technology. This effort will enable eligible South Australian households to tap into the state’s AUD 4,500 battery subsidy scheme. The pilot is expected to be expanded to the east coast early next year with full-featured VPP available in mid-2020 to members.

Energy retailer Powerclub, solar and battery installer Natural Solar, solar battery manufacturer sonnen and blockchain-enabled energy trading company PowerLedger are the participating entities.

Eligible households will be able to pool in their net solar and battery storage to act as a VPP to feed clean power to the grid which can then send it to the extended community connected to the grid in an effort to spread access to cheaper solar power.

PowerLedger says this technology is an extension to its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform which entitles prosumers of rooftop solar PV systems to sell their excess energy to other consumers through the grid. Under the VPP pilot arrangement the company will provide its technology to Powerclub members. It claims will this enable these member households to profit from power price spikes and demand shortages while saving them from additional hidden costs and mark-ups by the electricity retailer to cover supply costs as it exists under the current system.

“It’s these significant advances in technology that are furthering the home battery storage market and swiftly setting the standard for households in Australia,” said Natural Solar CEO and Founder Chris Williams.

Apart from Australia, PowerLedger has been expanding its P2P blockchain-enabled technology for rooftop solar power to other geographies, including India and Malaysia.

It has recently also got Japanese electricity company Kansai Electric Co Inc (KEPCO) to use its platform to create, track, trade and provide for the settlement of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) called Non-Fossil Value (NFV) certificates generated by rooftop solar systems in Japan. This will allow it to provide its RE100 customers to use NFV certificates against RE100 claims. The two have already been collaborating on a pilot P2P project for excess power generated under a feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme in Japan’s Osaka region.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani