Blockchain-based DER management gets major backing
US firm LO3 Energy announced major investments from corporate giants Shell Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation Group July 10 to support the global development of its blockchain-based community energy management networks.
The company has developed a SaaS (software as a service) energy platform to enable customers of utilities and competitive energy suppliers to buy and sell energy with one another. The system promises to “democratize the energy industry,” allowing people to set their own prices for local, clean energy at their home and business locations. LO3 already has investment from Braemar Energy Ventures, Centrica, and Siemens.
“Energy is going through a revolution with renewable distributed energy resources increasingly picking up market share – but to integrate them efficiently we need to re-invent our energy networks,” said LO3 Energy CEO Lawrence Orsini.
“These investments will help us accelerate the roll-out of less carbon intensive microgrids, which help all stakeholders benefit through distributed, decentralized and decarbonized local energy transactions and demand response energy management on a building-by-building level.”
LO3 Energy’s transactive energy platform was pioneered with the Brooklyn Microgrid and the company now runs projects with partners around the world, in the UK, Colombia, Japan, Australia and the USA.
Users set preferences on a dedicated mobile app, choosing how and when to use the local energy resources available to them and allowing them to select the specific sources they purchase it from.
The actual electrons flow through the normal grid transmission network, but the private, “permissioned” blockchain manages the definition of the energy source and the contract agreement to pay for it.
This enables a wide range of business use cases, including peer-to-peer energy trading, energy hedging for businesses, virtual power plants, dynamic electric vehicle charging and demand response.
See also “Company seeks to redefine energy interactions with exergy tokens” in IPPSO FACTO, April 2018, and “Blockchain-based network to help Texas businesses hedge energy use,” IPPSO FACTO June 2018.