Brooklyn's buildings are being connected to a microgrid that will allow individuals to buy and sell renewable energy from residential rooftop solar installations.The “Brooklyn Microgrid” will use software and hardware to help its members to engage in peer-to-peer clean energy sharing in a secure way, “using a combination of smart contracts and the blockchain,” says Treehugger.com.
Blockchain is described by Techopedia as a critical part of the bitcoin peer-to-peer payment system. The bitcoin system works using a blockchain ledger to record transactions a peer-to-peer payment network that operates on a cryptographic protocol.
The Brooklyn Microgrid is the work of TransActive Grid (TAG), a start-up company based in New York City. TAG was formed as a result of a joint venture between LO3 Energy and Consensus Systems.
[quote] The microgrid is considered to be the first “distributed energy development group” which covers the Park Slope and Gowanus communities in Brooklyn, New York.
The aim of the Brooklyn Microgrid is to create a connected network for local energy, combining renewable energy and the peer-to-peer economy.
The creator of the microgrid, TAG, said that its microgrid technology will give customers greater choice, being able to sell excess rooftop solar electricity to residents or businesses, instead of being locked in to buying and/or selling electricity through a large utility company.
Connecting buildings to the Brooklyn Microgrid
The start-up company claims that it connects buildings in the microgrid “via a constantly updated cryptographically secure list" stored on devices at each location.
The microgrid also uses software called “Ethereum” to monitor the energy in and energy out of each point of the network.
Treehugger.com adds that the blockchain solution “allows the platform to be securely monitored and for participants to automate their transactions in the local energy ecosystem using the existing grid infrastructure.”
Joseph Lubin, TAG co-founder said: “This whole concept benefits the area you live in. By buying energy locally, rather than from a national entity, the money goes back into the pockets of people in the community. We’ll install the transactive platform which pretty much runs itself, whereby energy is automatically priced based on things consumers care about.
“It’s pretty hands off – as we think that will suit consumers best - but in future we plan to enable people to set preferences to maximise savings, do good in the community, and potentially sell energy cheaper to lower-income residents."