Powerledger launches ‘energy community’ project in Spain

Aerial shot of Powerledger's Community’ project in Almócita, Spain
Almócita, Spain

Australian-based energy company Powerledger has announced the launch of an ‘Energy Community’ project in Almócita, one of the first “collective self-consumption” initiatives of its kind in Spain.

Households with their own rooftop solar will be able to generate greater income from their surplus energy, compared to the feed-in tariff they otherwise would receive.

Residents without solar can purchase renewable energy from their neighbours and the municipality at a lesser price than the grid.

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This is paving the way for local energy communities in the country to have greater access to reliable and affordable sustainable energy.

The project—the first of several to be rolled out in towns across Spain—uses Powerledger’s blockchain-enabled xGrid platform, which allows residents to securely track, trace, and trade locally generated renewable energy.

The energy community will involve both public and residential buildings, with an initial installed capacity of 60kW, set to grow in the coming phases of the project.

EV charging stations have been installed and will be integrated into the energy community, sourced with Almócita’s locally produced solar energy.

Excess solar will be stored in a 22kWh battery to provide the community with renewable energy at the darker hours, as well as to help benefit from the varying prices throughout the day.

“Powerledger’s xGrid platform is a truly universal and sustainable energy solution. The fact that it can be equally implemented in a large city, or a rural municipality like Almócita in Spain, is a testament to its applicability anywhere in the world,” Powerledger executive chairman and co-founder Dr Jemma Green said.

Powerledger has partnered with Feníe Energía, the electricity retailer for the project, and with renewable energy company Albedo Solar, the engineering partner and local project manager for Almócita’s energy community.

Feníe Energía director of regulation and innovation Javier Bescós said, “With the agreement for this energy community we ensure the energy efficiency and distribution for the benefit of the locality.

“Almócita will be an example and reference model for other towns that are committed with their sustainable development and the transition towards a 100 per cent clean energy system.”

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Almócita is a municipality in the Alpujarra mountain region in Almería province, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It has around 200 inhabitants, covers 30.83km squared, and has been broadly recognised throughout Spain for its sustainable and social development initiatives.

It is hoped that the success of energy communities could encourage regulatory changes in Spain to further enable peer to peer (P2P) energy trading—a feat achieved in Uttar Pradesh, India, where Powerledger ran a similar project leading to regulation enabling dynamic peer-to-peer trading in the state.

The project saw Powerledger receive the United Nations World Summit Award, acknowledging its contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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