In brief:

  • Power Ledger has signed a deal with property developer Nicheliving to create a microgrid in Western Australia.
  • Microgrids enable residents to store and trade renewable energy.
  • The partnership will see over 100 properties using a blockchain-based microgrid platform.

Blockchain start-up Power Ledger has teamed up with property developer Nicheliving to roll out a microgrid energy trading platform across 100 properties in Western Australia.

The deal, announced Wednesday, will initially see Power Ledger's blockchain platform used across 62 apartments in Nicheliving’s Inglewood development, and 40 apartments in East Cannington, before being rolled out across further Nicheliving projects over the next three years.

What is a microgrid?

Microgrids are small local energy grids that typically draw power from sustainable energy sources such as wind or solar. The power generated is stored locally; Power Ledger enables residents to sell their excess energy to neighbors, tracking energy consumption and transactions on its blockchain platform. According to the press release, the firm aims to deliver 100% renewable energy via an "embedded electricity network and solar PV and storage microgrid."

"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," explained Power Ledger co-founder and chairman Dr Jemma Green. "Power Ledger's platform incentivises homeowners to invest in solar energy infrastructure."

Microgrids bring power to the people

Power Ledger’s microgrid follows in the footsteps of other blockchain-based microgrids around the world, including the pioneering Brooklyn Microgrid in New York. 

Large energy firms are also getting involved; in London, EDF Energy launched a trial microgrid, Project CommUNITY, which outfitted an apartment complex with solar panels. Residents used a blockchain-powered app to access and trade their energy allowance with peers, removing the need for an intermediary.