One of Australia’s most prominent and, arguably most successful, blockchain startups Power Ledger has today unveiled the first commercial deployment of its peer-to-peer energy trading platform in Melbourne.
The deployment will see the Western Australian startup partner with renewable energy auditing and installation company Greenwood Solutions to install a number of solar panels across a selection of strata apartments and units. Those panels will provide residents with a renewable energy source, and will also be hooked into the Power Ledger platform.
This will allow residents to trade and sell excess generated energy from the solar panels to other residents who may not have access to the renewables system, or in times of high or low consumption, with users compensated for the energy instantly through the startup’s POWR cryptocurrency.
This commercial deployment deal is the latest in a range of deals completed by Power Ledger, with the startup outlining a partnership in January to roll out its platform into the US. The team is also in the early stages of rolling out the platform in Fremantle through part of an $8 million Smart Cities grant given by the federal government, with the company currently working on sourcing the battery for the project.
Power Ledger has also been in consultation with the Australian Taxation Office to better clarify how proceeds from initial coin offerings (ICOs) are taxed, with managing director David Martin telling StartupSmart last week the startup is trying to be as transparent as possible and set a good example as an Australian ICO.
“Our consultation is around clarity on how the proceeds of an ICO are treated. If the proceeds of an IPO [initial public offering] are not taxed because they’re treated as equity contributions, should the same thing apply for an ICO?” Martin said at the time.
“There’s a decision to be made here one way or the other. And it doesn’t just impact on our tax treatment … it could have a broader impact on if ICOs are conducted in Australia in the future.”
In October last year, the startup raised $34 million through its ICO, making it the second largest token sale in Australia to date.
Martin said in a statement the new Melbourne project will aim to give residents in these units the ability maximise their return on investment in their renewable energy systems.
“Coupling on-site renewable energy generation with peer-to-peer trading will allow residents to maximise the value of their renewable energy investments, while sharing the low-carbon benefits with their neighbours,” he said.
“Power Ledger is focussed on creating a platform for consumer-owned, low-cost, low-carbon energy systems and this deployment in Melbourne brings us a step closer to our goal of democratising power.”
Greenwood Solutions project engineer David Fulton said Greenwood was drawn to working with Power Ledger after reading the startup’s whitepaper, seeing the blockchain company as a fast-moving alternative to traditional energy infrastructure.
“The lagging effect of our energy infrastructure when compared to other sectors, especially telecommunications, has puzzled me for many years,” he said in a statement.
“After reading the Power Ledger whitepaper I was pleased to see I wasn’t alone and that an Australian company had a world-class solution. After meeting with Power Ledger at their headquarters in Perth earlier this year, working together seemed like the next logical step.”