Busselton retirees trial blockchain technology

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West Australian retirees in the town of Busselton are trialling a new system which allows them to sell excess solar energy to their neighbours.

Perth-based company Power Ledger created the scheme which bypasses the state’s utility provider and is trialling it in the National Lifestyle Villages complex in Busselton, where all the homes are linked via one network connection, like a strata complex.

Power Ledger managing director David Martin said the scheme was ‘win-win’ and would help maintain the grid and provide renewable energy to households which could not afford to install solar panels.

“That spiralling up of network charges, that falls to people who are still connected to the network and can’t afford to pay for PV and batteries themselves,” he said.

“We’re avoiding that because they’re able to participate despite not being able to afford putting PV on their roof.”

The system is able to calculate who to charge and who to pay and excess power still goes back to the grid.

Mr Martin said it operated using blockchain technology where if consumers are on the same peer-to-peer platform, the energy put into the network is matched to demand.