Power Ledger testing Blockchain for Electricity in Illinois

Power Ledger will conduct the first North American test of its blockchain marketplace for electricity at Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, Illinois.

Power Ledger operates a peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain trading platform for electricity that utilizes its POWR (POWR) ERC20 (Ethereum-based) token. Northwestern University will use the platform trade “clean energy” on and off its’ campuses.

The trading will be monitored, measured, and verified by students from Northwestern University’s Master of Engineering Management Program, a Northwestern press release indicates. The students will evaluate Power Ledger’s blockchain apps and test them at buildings throughout Chicagoland.

The Blockchain Meets the Smart Grid

The tests are part of the Clean Energy Blockchain Network; which is being set up by Northwestern and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Smart Company reported. The Network will attempt to integrate Power Ledger’s trading platform with smart meters in an effort to build a marketplace for electricity from the grid.

Major goals include improving the monitoring and control of electricity usage, controlling electricity costs, and making the grid more efficient. The test will start small with a handful of buildings on the Evanston campus and might form the basis of the first true smart grid.

Another hope is to introduce traders in Chicago’s legendary commodities markets; the nation’s largest, to the concept of trading electricity on the blockchain. A long-term goal would be to reduce the cost of electricity for everybody.

Power Ledger Plans Retail Market for Electricity, Microgrids, and Autonomous Assets

The Australian-based Power Ledger’s ambitious plans go far beyond a P2P marketplace for electricity.

Long-term goals include a platform for “neo-retailers” businesses that will market electricity to the public. They would be similar to the retailers that sell prepaid “airtime” for phones and other wireless devices.

Another key component of Power Ledger’s plans will be “Microgrids” that make it easy to monitor electricity usage and collect data about it. The effort in Evanston is a test of that concept.

How Power Ledger Plans to Monetize Electricity

A potentially lucrative product created by microgrids would be a wholesale market settlement. That is a platform that serves as a marketplace for electricity for microgrid operators.

A fascinating concept Power Ledger wants to test is Autonomous Asset (AA) Management. The autonomous assets would facilitate ownership and trading of energy assets. AA owners or traders would be able to own, sell, and trade electricity. Profits from the trading would be distributed to all owners.

An intriguing use of autonomous assets would be to monetize solar-electric panels or small wind turbines. The panels would generate electricity that is fed into the grid. The electricity would be sold on the market via autonomous assets or through neo-retailers; profits would be dispersed to solar-panel owners via the Power Ledger platform and the POWR token.

Another Power Ledger platform application that will be tested at Northwestern is a market for big collected from the electricity grid. A wide variety of data including real-time metering, frequency, and load balancing will be analyzed. The hope is to optimize the grid and enable fast payment of electricity providers.

Data about electric vehicles and other new users of the grid will be collected to optimize the electricity supply. A long-term goal of the platform is to facilitate carbon trading by providing better data for utilities, electricity producers, and traders.

Power Ledger Testing its Blockchain Application in the Real World

Power Ledger is conducting a number of tests of its blockchain technology in the real world.

One test will involve meter data from around 10 homes in Osaka, Japan. The data provided by the Kansai Power Company (KEPCO) will be used to monetize home-produced solar electricity.

This deal is big because KEPCO is a “serious international utility;” Power Ledger cofounder and managing director, David Martin told StartupSummit and SmartCompany. Power Ledger is conducting real-world tests of its technology in Freemantle and Melbourne, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, the Power Ledger whitepaper indicates.

Power Ledger and a non-profit called HelpAnswers are planning a number of projects across the United States, Smart Company reported. Helpanswers intends to build a series of 50 megawatts (50-million watt) solar farms and energy storage facilities. The facilities will sell electricity to schools, low-income housing projects, wastewater treatment, facilities, cement plants, and charging stations for electric vehicles. PowerLedger would provide the infrastructure and technology for monetizing those projects.

Is Power Ledger a Good Investment?

The Power Ledger (POWR) token has a little value, it had a Coin Price of 57.4¢ (0.00076 ETH) on May 3, 2018.

That gave Power Ledger a Market Capitalization of $211.452 million (280,070 ETH), and a Market Volume of $15.44 million (20,450 ETH) on the same day, CoinMarketCap reported. The POWR Token had a Circulating Supply of 367.993 million and a total supply of one billion.

Power Ledger (POWR) is a pretty good token, it is ERC20 compatible and integrated with the Bancor Protocol and part of the Bancor Network. The Bancor Protocol makes it easy to integrate tokens with each other and the Bancor Token (BNT). These attributes will make Power Ledger easy to trade, but will not necessarily give it any additional value.

Despite these figures, the token’s attributes, and the real world tests, the POWR token is a lousy investment. Any present value that Power Ledger has is purely theoretical. Smart investors should wait until Power Ledger demonstrates it can make real money in the real world before buying it.

If it works Power Ledger might make a lot of money someday. Until it is widely deployed and proven Power Ledger is nothing but a fascinating experiment.

For more information about Power Ledger and its platform visit its website and read the whitepaper: