NEW YORK, NY – Insolar has entered into a cooperation agreement with Canada’s Hero Engineering Inc. to develop and test a blockchain-based platform for improving the resiliency and efficiency of energy systems.
Funded in part by a federal grant from Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), the Insolar blockchain will be integrated into a transactive smart grid prototype, which is designed to improve the uptake of distributed generation of renewables, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and smart thermostats.
The partnership will demonstrate the concrete benefits of introducing a distributed ledger system to enable a transactive energy platform (TEP) – a revolutionary innovation with huge positive climate and economic impact. A particularly innovative objective of the project is to integrate the platform within a city-wide fleet of electric vehicles and charging stations that support vehicle (EV) to grid charging (V2G), which will be one the first blockchain-based V2G blockchain pilots in the world.
A Dynamic Ecosystem
The energy landscape is rapidly changing as a result of crucial initiatives to combat climate change and an urgent need to increase overall system resiliency, efficiency, and sustainability. Over 25% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are a result of electricity and heat production fueled by dirty coal and diesel. At the same time, within the US alone there has been a six-fold increase in the number of power outages over the last two decades — with economic losses of over US$20 billion.
Decentralization and decarbonization efforts have prioritized the implementation of renewable distributed energy resources and electric vehicles, thereby creating new, localized electricity markets and facilitating new stakeholders such as energy “prosumers”, who both consume and produce electricity.
Enabling all of this takes some doing. The intermittency of renewables causes severe instability within grids. Furthermore, significant capital expenditure from grid operators must be invested into extending communication and control infrastructure to monitor and govern a distributed network. Finally, the underlying system must be secure against cyber-attacks, an industry demand that will be worth a trillion dollars by 2020.
Introducing a Trusted Platform
As such, there is a need for a trusted platform that can seamlessly connect together all stakeholders to engage in energy transactions that enhance the sustainability of the overall grid. This platform must align the economic goals of all energy stakeholders with the global objective of increasing energy resiliency.
As a scalable and secure platform which is transparent to all stakeholders to ensure fairness, the Insolar blockchain is suited to this end. Insolar views itself as a key enabler for transactive energy by utilizing its platform to support decentralized, yet resilient microgrids that realize key benefits for power system operators and prosumers alike.
Besides combating climate change and optimizing trading prices, the transactive energy platform which Insolar is enabling can prevent electricity outages by improving power storage and distribution, so utility grids are not overwhelmed at peak times.
The project is part of a nascent blockchain energy consortium including private enterprises, grid operators, and EV charging station owners.
Building Innovative Solutions
Insolar is a global technology company building innovative public and private blockchain solutions on the Insolar blockchain platform – the most secure, flexible and scalable blockchain for business.
In March 2019, Insolar successfully launched its Testnet 1.1 with a throughput of over 19,000 transactions per second on 20 nodes. Since the platform is nearly linearly scalable, this makes it the most scalable enterprise blockchain worldwide. The participating nodes are being hosted both internally by Insolar and externally by several corporate and academic partners, including bluechip companies and top tier academic institutions.
Such high throughput on a number of nodes is essential for transactive energy platforms, in which there are many decentralized participants. The system proposed takes a multi-agent, distributed approach, enabling prosumers to share services with each other, such as energy trading to offset power mismatches. Moreover, the platform will enable prosumers to share energy and services with the utility grid, providing ancillary services like voltage regulation and demand response and smart electric vehicle charging.