A project created by Australian blockchain firm Power Ledger and Perth-based real estate developer OP Properties aims to create one of Australia’s first carbon-neutral apartment developments.
In addition to living in a home that uses green energy, there will be a marketing incentive of a 50% reduction in the strata levy or the building maintenance fees.
The five-story apartment building called Montreal Commons will have 39 apartments and a café. To be carbon-neutral, it uses ‘developer funded’ rooftop solar panels and local battery storage, which can be topped up through green energy provided by electricity retailer Change Energy.
Any excess solar electricity generated can be stored in on-site batteries and sold by the apartment owners through Power Ledger’s blockchain-based energy trading platform. If needed, they can also buy back electricity. Power Ledger specializes in enabling electricity trading, receiving a $2.5 million grant by the Australian Government and winning Sir Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge award.
OP Director Luke Parker says the developer will handle the full installation costs of the rooftop solar system. The installation ownership will be transferred to the management company responsible for the property, rather than each apartment owner.
When a buyer acquires a property that has a strata title, they need to pay a strata levy, or building owners corporation fee. Strata levies are for the maintenance of common parts of buildings and usually cover building insurance.
Power Ledger has been involved in multiple projects all over the world. In Thailand, they partnered with Thai Digital Energy Development to develop its trading infrastructure for energy and environmental commodities. In France, Power Ledger partnered with renewables supplier ekWateur to develop a blockchain-based energy trading platform. Their partnerships have now extended across to the U.S., India, Japan and elsewhere.