Power Ledger’s solar energy trading trial that lets households set their own electricity prices is preparing for a second phase, welcoming new participants with improved arrangements.

Since November 2018, Power Ledger’s blockchain technology has been used to track the transactions of rooftop solar energy traded between 18 households in Fremantle, Western Australia.

“Power Ledger’s platform has created a renewable energy marketplace, enabling Fremantle residents to set their own prices and trade solar energy generated from their rooftops with neighbours that don’t have solar,” said Power Ledger executive chairman Dr Jemma Green.

Since the trial started, Power Ledger has processed almost 50,000 transactions on its platform per month and tracked over 4 megawatt hours of peer-to-peer renewable energy trades.

Dr Green said peer-to-peer energy trading had the potential to deliver several benefits to the energy marketplace.

“Peer-to-peer trading unlocks the potential for customers connected to the electricity grid to have more choice on how they manage their power use, by providing residents with the choice to access renewable energy that’s locally generated at the right time of day,” said Dr Green.

“Using Power Ledger’s platform, peer-to-peer energy trading gives consumers without solar power infrastructure, access to local, low-cost and low carbon energy.”

The trial is a joint effort between Curtin University, Power Ledger, Synergy, Western Power, and energyOS and was originally due for completion in June 2019.

A second iteration of the trial will run until the end of the year to gain a deeper insight into consumer preferences and to test additional pricing models.

Using Western Power’s existing network with Synergy’s customers, Power Ledger’s platform has enabled households to buy and sell excess rooftop solar energy in real-time, with residents able to view electricity usage in 30-minute intervals, instead of the 30-60 day billing cycle.

Western Power’s smart meter data was fed into Power Ledger’s blockchain trading platform and then exported to Synergy’s billing system, to ensure a secure and accurate recording of the energy trading.

Synergy’s manager of new energy Krystal Skinner said the ongoing trial will provide important insights into the challenges that would need to be overcome to support mass adoption of peer-to-peer tariff structures in WA.

“The first phase gave us insights into the profile of customers that could benefit from peer-to-peer trading, along with highlighting some challenges for developing the right pricing model. The second phase will incorporate changes based on these insights to determine product potential,” said Ms Skinner.

“On behalf of the trial partners, we will be approaching our customers who have the right energy usage profile and are in selected suburbs to offer them the chance to join the trial.”

Power Ledger’s SaaS energy trading platform is currently deployed in several places across Western Australia as well as in Thailand, Japan, the United States and Europe.

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