Aussie Solar Startup Power Ledger, Energy Giant Origin Begin Blockchain Trial

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Australian solar startup Power Ledger has partnered with retail energy giant Origin to begin a trial based on Power Ledger’s blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy marketplace.

Power Ledger–the first Australian startup to launch an initial coin offering (ICO)–raised $17 million AUD ($13.4 million USD) during its presale and expects to surpass $30 million by the end of the public ICO.

The company is developing a P2P energy marketplace that enables users to buy and sell surplus solar energy. Based on the results of a recently-completed trial, Power Ledger believes its service will save households about $475 per year.

Now, Power Ledger is partnering with Origin, the largest retail energy provider in Australia, to test the benefits and challenges of trading energy across a regulated network. Using anonymised consumer data, the company aims to demonstrate that the platform is both accurate and secure.

Tony Lucas, executive general manager of Origin’s future energy division, says he looks forward to getting a firsthand look at how blockchain technology could provide value for their customers.

While it’s still fairly early days for this technology, we are keen to explore the potential benefits that peer-to-peer energy trading could offer our customers. Power Ledger is one of a number of emerging technologies we’re currently exploring, which we believe could help us meet the changing needs of our customers.

The trial will begin in October and continue for three months. “We hope the trial will help us better understand the value proposition for consumers, as well as the regulatory and technical implications of the peer-to-peer trading model,” Lucas added.

Power Ledger is one of several high-profile energy startups emerging within the crypto space. Grid+ just concluded a $40 million token presale ahead of its October ICO. Like Power Ledger, Grid+ plans to eventually launch an energy-sharing marketplace, but in the near-term, the U.S. startup will establish blockchain-integrated retail electricity businesses in deregulated markets such as Texas.

Both of these projects aim to take advantage of the efficiencies of blockchain-automated processes. “Peer-to-peer energy trading presents an opportunity to unlock enormous value for consumers,” explains Power Ledger managing Director David Martin. “It disintermediates the energy supply model, putting consumers in direct contact with other consumers.”

Image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is a full-time journalist at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.