Blockchain innovators kicking goals

05/12/2018 - 15:23

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A collaboration led by Curtin University and including local blockchain business Power Ledger has started its latest peer-to-peer trading trial in Fremantle, funded by the federal government's Smart Cities Initiative, while DigitalX has launched a new incubator for blockchain technology in Kings Park.

Rooftop solar is expected to continue to grow dramatically in WA.

A collaboration led by Curtin University and including local blockchain business Power Ledger has started its latest peer-to-peer trading trial in Fremantle, funded by the federal government's Smart Cities Initiative, while DigitalX has launched a new incubator for blockchain technology in Kings Park.

It follows Power Ledger's October win at a global technology competition created by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.

The latest trial will enable 40 households in Fremantle to trade rooftop solar power with neighbours who cannot access solar, using the company’s platform.

It will operate until June 2019.

The project was granted $2.6 million through the Smart Cities Initiative in November last year, with Synergy and Western Power among other collaborators.

The trial will include trading across the electricity grid, while an existing trial aready under way in White Gum Valley is within the same building.

Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute project manager Karla Fox-Reynolds said it was a cutting edge project.

“These households are believed to be the first in the world to be taking part in an active, billed, peer-to-peer trading trial that allows them to effectively buy and sell solar energy generated by their rooftop system across the grid,” Ms Fox-Reynolds said.

“By collaborating with our partners, the trial gives households the flexibility to determine how much they are willing to buy and sell solar energy for, and then make the purchase via a blockchain-enabled, virtual platform.”

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said the state government backed the program.

"The trial represents an innovative solution to virtual energy trading that may have implications for energy utilities working to balance energy supply and demand all over the world,” he said.

"These households are believed to be the first in the world to be taking part in an active, billed, peer-to-peer trading trial that allows them to effectively buy and sell solar energy generated by their rooftop system across the grid.

"This trial is another example of how the McGowan government is embracing renewable energy technologies, and our commitment to put Western Australian consumers at the forefront of the energy technology revolution."

Meanwhile, DigitalX’s new Blockchain Centre is a collaboration with Blockchain Global.

Blockchain Global is a Melbourne-based business that manages cryptocurrency investments and runs incubation and development consulting services.

DigitalX chief executive Leigh Travers said he hoped the centre would support blockchain education and connect new ideas with investor networks.

“Our aim is to establish the Perth Blockchain Centre as the premier fintech destination in the Southern Hemisphere and provide ongoing weekly events for entrepreneurial and fintech networking groups, to grow blockchain technology in WA,” he said.

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