New Virtual Power Plant lets home battery owners trade their kW on the blockchain

With Australian power prices being some of the highest in the world, there’s plenty of room for innovation. The latest offering comes in the form of a Virtual Power...
Chris Williams, CEO and Founder of Natural Solar

With Australian power prices being some of the highest in the world, there’s plenty of room for innovation. The latest offering comes in the form of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), made up of home battery storage across Australia.

Essentially you get to trade your stored energy (captured by the sun with solar panels). This trading runs on the newly developed blockchain technology, the same stuff that powers Bitcoin.

This will see Australian homes connected like never before, allowing households to share power with their neighbours and buy, sell and trade power with the grid.

HOW IT WORKS 

  • Homeowners with solar and battery storage will be able to sign up to no-profit challenger energy retailer Powerclub (named energy retailer of the year) offering wholesale electricity prices and retailer services at cost. This will offer a flat rate per kWH usage or a plan with different rates per time of day. 
  • Powerclub Members using Power Ledgers blockchain VPP technology will be able to pool their net solar and battery storage to act as a VPP.
  • Homeowners will be able to sell their excess solar power that has been created and stored, allowing them to profit during energy demand shortages and price spikes
  • Under this system consumers will avoid paying additional hidden costs and mark-ups by traditional electricity companies and retailers  to cover supply costs. 
  • Pilot VPP will start in SA and be fully connected around the country by mid-2020 
  • Homeowners will be able to access state and federal government solar and battery subsidies
  • First 20 members to the pilot will receive a $500 discount
  • This plan will mean that the grid will operate more efficiently with huge benefits

This technology will make Australia one of the largest Virtual Power Plants (VPP’s) in the world, and will be the first nationwide VPP. It will give Aussies independence from the grid, and offer some big savings.

This comes from four privately owned Australian energy industry heavyweights (Natural Solar, Powerledger Power Club and Sonnen) who have all joined forces to bring power and money back into the hands of Australians and away from unscrupulous traditional energy retailers. 

The national roll out will start immediately with all states and territories to be able to access the VPP for trading by mid-2020. This links to the newly released AEMC report which discusses the need to redesign the grid, endorses solar, batteries and power sharing/trading. 

To enable a pilot program for Powerclub and Power Ledger’s VPP Project, the duo has partnered with the world’s largest solar battery manufacturer sonnen, as well as solar panel provider Natural Solar to provide the infrastructure required to rollout to households in South Australia.

While Home Battery Storage can still be expensive, those in South Australia have the opportunity to tap into the state’s $4500 battery subsidy scheme, as well as the first 20 Powerclub Members to sign up to the pilot will receive a further $500 discount.

“We anticipate the VPP will deliver thousands in annual electricity savings for participating South Australians,”

Powerclub Founder and CEO, Stuart McPherson.
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BlockchainGeneral

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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