Yesterday, U.S.-based blockchain firm LO3 Energy announced a partnership with Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) to launch a commercial local energy marketplace in the region.
The two have launched an app called Vermont Green for GMP customers, connecting local businesses such as ski resorts, craft breweries and dairy farms with rooftop solar owners looking to earn income from their excess electricity production.
Apart from peer to peer energy sharing, businesses can also buy renewable energy certificates (RECs) from solar producers by a bidding auction using LO3’s Pando platform. This is the initial focus, and GMP is launching it as a limited pilot program, with plans to widen its reach later on.
“Vermonters are among the most environmentally conscious in the country. There’s a huge appetite for local businesses to be 100 percent renewable and at the same time there’s an increasing amount of home solar production,” said Lawrence Orsini, founder and CEO of LO3 Energy.
GMP serves about 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont. The company is aiming to become 100% renewable provider by 2030 by utilizing local energy markets and distributed energy resources. With this partnership with LO3, existing business customers can offset their carbon footprint by buying RECs from local residential solar producers.
REC trading will be an automated process by using smart contracts for bidding. The Pando solution allows users to set the offer price and daily budget, with blockchain smart contracts executing the actual transaction.
LO3 Energy’s focus is on creating community microgrids based on its permissioned Exergy platform which uses the XRG token. Members of the grids can buy and sell excess solar using the blockchain marketplace, with XRG tokens enabling instant settlement of the transaction.
A few months ago, LO3 received investments from Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation Group and Shell Ventures. Conglomerate Marubeni is running an energy pilot in Japan with LO3. Another Japanese company, Kyocera Corporation, has a trial for a blockchain virtual power plant (VPP) with the firm.
Some of LO3’s partners include Siemens, Direct Energy, Centrica, European Power Exchange, Braemar Energy Ventures, Portland Energy Conservation, Energy Exchange Australia and German utility Allgäuer Überlandwerk.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Power Ledger is another P2P energy trading company which recently signed its first commercial deal.