As the benchmark oil futures contract in the United States fell into negative territory this week for the first time in history, blockchain devs have been focusing on greener, sustainable energy projects.

Australian blockchain firm Power Ledger has just signed a deal with the largest medium-density residential developer in Perth to roll out its blockchain-based solar energy trading platform for local residents over the next three years.

On April 22, Power Ledger and developer Nicheliving revealed that the platform will initially roll out in 62 apartments in Nicheliving’s flagship SkyHomes development in Inglewood, followed by 10 further developments in the Perth metropolitan area.

At SkyHomes, the system will provide residents with 100% renewable energy via an embedded electricity network and solar PV and storage microgrid. 

Power Ledger’s blockchain platform tracks energy consumption and enables users to sell their surplus solar energy to other residents, with the aim of optimizing energy distribution and reducing the costs associated with investment and usage.

Nicheliving’s managing director has said that the platform can help to incentivize homeowners to reduce their reliance on fossil-fuel sourced power by providing them with a new revenue stream from traded surplus energy as well as reduced daily consumption costs.

Power Ledger’s co-founder Dr. Jemma Green has pointed to the platform’s potential to help developers pay back their solar investment faster, further spurring the installation of sustainable energy infrastructure.

The deal between Power Ledger and Nicheliving was signed as part of a joint venture, “Connected Communities Energy,” which aims for the large-scale rollout of blockchain-based solar energy trading across Western Australia.

Blockchain for a green future

Earlier this month, Power Ledger partnered with a green energy network for over 220,000 electricity meters in France to install a blockchain tool that enables residents to customize their energy mix.

Over the long-term, the firm has been developing its blockchain-enabled renewable energy trading platform and a series of associated tools that can support energy trading, renewable asset financing and more efficient carbon and renewable energy credit markets.

In fall 2019, it launched a trial for peer-to-peer energy trading technology in rural areas of Australia, following on from other commercial implementations in the same quarter.

Academic researchers have also published detailed proposals for how blockchain systems can help incentivize the smart management of renewable energy consumption.