Blockchain web services provider BlockCypher said it will work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a demonstration project for renewable energy peer-to-peer payments using the open-source cryptocurrency Dash.
“Blockchain technology presents a transformative and highly scalable platform for enabling distributed energy markets, which could enable distributed energy resources to interact more effectively with the larger grid,” Dylan Cutler, senior engineer and principal investigator for the project at NREL, said in a statement.
According to Cutler, NREL and BlockCypher will show how peer-to-peer payments can be facilitated and settled on the Dash network between two test homes in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility.
“The project will ideally then be scaled to include utility interaction and multiple homes on a feeder,” Cutler said.
BlockCypher Head of Growth Karen Hsu said that the ability to exchange renewable energy peer-to-peer could be helpful, for example, during a natural disaster or when the power grid goes down.
“This technology is also important as energy consumption continues to grow with more people using electric vehicles and battery powered devices,” Hsu said. “Peer-to-peer energy exchange could improve the match of generation and demand, reducing under voltage or brownouts during peak energy usage.”
BlockCypher said that, while some blockchain-based renewable energy projects have developed energy specific coins, this project represents the first blockchain and energy technology agnostic solution.
“By enabling smart meters with the ability to exchange digital currency for electricity, we can make the grid more efficient and stable by enabling the monetization of stored energy and energy production at the endpoints of the grid,” Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core, said. “It can also help avoid costly infrastructure upgrades if our grids can operate more efficiently. Dash is uniquely fit to facilitate these payments, because it is designed to scale to massively large transactions while maintaining very low transaction costs.”
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