BlockCypher, provider of Blockchain Web Services and infrastructure, is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to show how energy transactions can be settled across multiple blockchains and integrated technologies. This marks the first time whereby energy transactions involving distributed energy resources (DER) can be settled across multiple blockchains, starting with the Dash blockchain.
Dylan Cutler, Senior Engineer and Principal Investigator for the project at NREL explained “NREL has been working with utilities, regulators, and other government agencies to leverage DER to enable a more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient electric grid. Blockchain technology presents a transformative and highly scalable platform for enabling distributed energy markets, which could enable DER to interact more effectively with the larger grid.”
He added “NREL and BlockCypher will show how peer to peer payments can be facilitated and settled on the Dash network between two test homes in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). The project will ideally then be scaled to include utility interaction and multiple homes on a feeder.”
BlockCypher Head of Growth, Karen Hsu said, “The technology developed in this project enables people to exchange renewable energy, peer to peer. This would be important in a natural disaster or when the grid goes down for extended periods, just like we’ve seen last year across the U.S. Peer to peer energy exchange could improve the match of generation and demand, reducing under voltage or brownouts during peak energy usage.”
This is the first time the U.S. Department of Energy is exploring such progressive technology to facilitate peer to peer energy transactions. The ability to test in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) laboratory enables assessment of technical performance, such as hardware responses and transaction settlement speed, at the megawatt scale. While some of the blockchain based renewable energy projects have developed energy specific coins, this is the first blockchain and energy technology agnostic solution.
“NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies,” Hsu said. “We are excited to be working with them on a blockchain agnostic, distributed energy system, where people can immediately share energy (solar, hydro, or wind), charge their hybrid motor vehicles at distributed power stations in homes and businesses, and pay for their energy usage at lower costs online.”