Just months after announcing its first trial partnership in the US, prominent Australian blockchain company Power Ledger has unveiled the first commercial deployment of its energy trading platform in the United States.
Based in Illinois, the company has implemented its system at the Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, as part of the startup’s involvement with the Clean Energy Blockchain Network. The university has a longstanding focus on solar energy and established the ANSER Center in 2007, which is a joint research effort between it and the Argonne National Laboratory, funded in part by grants from the US Department of Energy.
This means Northwestern University will now be able to trade its excess solar energy inside its own campus and between multiple sites, using only Power Ledger’s blockchain platform and its pre-existing energy meters.
The set-up will initially run across four buildings chosen by the university’s Master of Engineering Management Program, to be implemented in the coming months. After this, Power Ledger plans to expand the trading system across the rest of the campus, and eventually to other campuses, museums, and laboratories.
“Moving beyond trials and into commercial deployment of the Power Ledger energy trading platform in a historical trading market like Chicago is a major opportunity,” Power Ledger managing director and co-founder David Martin said in a statement.
“We’re excited to demonstrate how the platform can assist with cutting both costs and carbon with a secure, clean energy source.”
Engineering students at the university will monitor and study the energy trading system, and conceive further options for other use cases in the Chicago area.
“We’re looking forward to synergizing participating graduate schools together to create opportunities on the energy smart grid sector using the Power Ledger cryptographic platform,” said Mark Werwath, director of the university’s Master of Engineering Management Program.
Power Ledger raised $34 million in an initial coin offering in October last year, and is widely viewed as one of Australia’s most successful blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. At the time of publication, the price of one of it’s POWR tokens was current sitting at 72c.
Last week, the company announced a trial partnership with KEPCO, Japan’s second-largest energy retailer, with Martin telling StartupSmart at the time KEPCO was “no small fry”.
“They’re a serious international utility, and for us to get those sort of relationships points to a level of trust in the tech, and a trust in the relationship as well,” he said.
“To see a utility like KEPCO in a market like Japan actively taking steps to operate under a new paradigm shows there’s a great acceptance of the future of decentralised energy. It’s not just a small group of energy disruptors, the big guys agree too.”