Siemens and New York startup LO3 Energy said Monday they are collaborating in the field of innovative microgrids. The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop microgrids that enable local energy trading based on blockchain technology.
Siemens is involving its next47 unit, which was established in October 2016 as part of an ecosystem for partnerships with startups to take a leading role in the evolving decentralized energy system market.
As a startup, LO3 Energy is currently supported by Siemens Digital Grid and next47, in developing a solution for a blockchain-based microgrid in the New York borough of Brooklyn – the first of its kind in the world and a starting point for developing other joint microgrid projects in US and other countries.
The microgrid planned for Brooklyn, which started as a pilot project of LO3 Energy, is now being further developed with the aid of Siemens Digital Grid in the US. For the first time, a microgrid control solution from Siemens is being combined with the peer-to-peer trading platform from LO3 Energy known as TransActive Grid.
This solution will enable blockchain-based local energy trading between producers and consumers in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Gowanus neighborhoods as well as balance out local production and consumption, according to Siemens.
The combination of a microgrid control solution and blockchain technology will make it possible for a provider of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of buildings in Brooklyn to feed its excess electricity back into the existing local grid and receive payments from the purchasers.
Preliminary tests of peer-to-peer transactions between neighbors were successfully completed in April 2016. “Just as our partner LO3 Energy we are envisioning tremendous opportunities for the application of the blockchain technology, especially in microgrids with distributed and decentralized energy systems,” said Thomas Zimmermann, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Grid Business Unit.
“Its big benefit is, that it permits transparent, efficient trading between multiple participating systems and various stakeholders while taking grid-specific requirements into account,” he added.