Grid edge groundbreaker to share Brooklyn blockchain experience

Australia’s energy industry will hear from the designer of a world-leading grid edge project based in New York, where the ability to trade solar energy gives customers more choice and control.

The founder and CEO of New York start-up company LO3 Energy, Lawrence Orsini, will present the international keynote address at an upcoming Energy Networks Australia national forum.

LO3 Energy developed the TransActive Grid project in a neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where people feed power generated by their solar panels into a local community energy marketplace.

LO3 Energy’s peer-to-peer trading platform uses blockchain technology to allow people in this neighbourhood to buy and sell solar energy directly from one another.

Mr Orsini said LO3 Energy is proud to be leading the creation of new services and markets for electric utility customers around the world.

“As homeowners and businesses in Australia increasingly install solar, storage, and smart internet of things devices, they will require new ways to transact the value of those devices,” Mr Orsini said.

“Our blockchain-based TransActive Grid platform enables this transactive energy future of the electric grid.”

LO3 Energy designed the platform as a solution for New York’s ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’, which was led by the new CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman.

Energy Networks Australia CEO John Bradley said blockchain technologies have the potential to unlock millions of direct transactions between customers sharing their energy.

“In New York and Australia, we are seeing the sharing economy arrive in energy, just as it has in transport and accommodation,” Mr Bradley said.

“Australian pioneers like PowerLedger are already deploying blockchain technology in Western Australia.

“Smarter grids interacting with dynamic trading platforms like LO3’s and PowerLedger’s could unlock the full potential of distributed energy resources.”

The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap with CSIRO found that more than 35 per cent of all electricity in Australia will be generated by customers by 2050, using rooftop solar and battery storage.

Mr Bradley said instead of building traditional poles and wires solutions, networks could rely on grid support services from millions of customers with annual payments worth $1.1 billion per annum within 10 years.

“This seminar will explore new energy platforms, microgrids and edge of grid services that can provide Australian customers with affordable, secure and cleaner energy in a decentralised and dynamic energy system,” he said.

The Energy Networks Australia seminar, Welcome to the Grid Edge, will be held in Sydney on 10 May 2017.