Startup News & Analysis

Power Ledger’s latest partnership gives it foothold in the biggest US wholesale power network

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien /

Power Ledger

The Power Ledger team. Source: Supplied

Aussie peer-to-peer renewable energy trading startup Power Ledger is implementing its platform at a US retail electricity provider, marking an introduction to the largest wholesale electricity network in the States.

Power Ledger’s platform uses blockchain to distribute power through a peer-to-peer network.

The electricity provider, American PowerNet, is part of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, and will introduce peer-to-peer energy trading to this network for the first time.

American PowerNet’s headquarters will use Power Ledger to trade solar power, generated through panels on site, with neighbours connected to its office park.

The project is intended to optimise the use of clean energy, thereby reducing carbon emissions and electricity costs.

It will make use of American PowerNet’s existing distribution system, meaning the power provider will not have to add any additional hardware.

In a statement, president of American PowerNet Scott Helm said this type of structure will benefit all parties involved, “and can be recreated in any deregulated territory where a business site has excess solar generation”.

Powerledger co-founder David Martin adds this network is “a key market where the benefits of peer-to-peer energy trading can become mainstream”.

It’s this kind of deployment that could easily be rolled out on a larger scale, and it proves there’s a demand, Martin says.

“This project illustrates the growing customer desire to invest in clean, renewable energy and aligns perfectly with our goal to democratise power, globally,” he says.

This latest mandate comes after Power Ledger took home the trophy at Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge 2018. At the time, co-founder Jemma Green told StartupSmart the award was a “kind of validation”.

“It adds credibility to a startup that wants to get its brand out there and develop more, and implement more products,” she said.

Launched in 2016, Power Ledger raised $34 million in one of Australia’s first initial coin offerings in October last year.

In February 2018, the startup partnered with US not-for-profit Helpanswers, to bring the trading platform to hundreds of sites across North America, and in May, it announced its first commercial deployment in the US, through a partnership with a Chicago university.

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Stephanie Palmer-Derrien

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien is a reporter at StartupSmart.

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