Blockchain for solar microgrid in Chile

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Australian blockchain pioneer Powerledger’s solution is to be deployed in a sustainability project in a remote area in northern Chile.

The project, one of three being implemented by global mining giant BHP with the aim to build community resilience to climate change, is planned to include a solar microgrid, water monitoring system and an integrated recycling model to assist the communities to optimise energy, water and waste resources.

Powerledger will provide its blockchain-enabled energy trading platform, which will enable businesses within the selected communities to trade excess rooftop solar power between them.

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“Solar radiation is excellent in northern Chile. Where solar systems have been implemented, either for electricity or water heating, they usually involve individual and isolated solutions, missing the opportunities for exchange of surpluses among residents or the potential increase in capacity for productive uses, such as tourism and local enterprises,” said Powerledger Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Dr Jemma Green.

“Our technology will for the first time give the participating communities a real insight and a choice as to how they produce and trade their energy.”

The project named Kuskalla – ‘Together’ in Quechua – is being developed in a collaboration led by solution provider EBP Chile. Other partners include consultants SER Patrimonio and the University of Queensland’s International Centre of Excellence in Chile.

It is being implemented over the next three years in the Tarapacá region in Chile’s far north, on the border with Bolivia.

The project marks a first in Latin America for Powerledger and is one of a small number of energy-related blockchain projects in Chile.

This project and the other two – on water recycling and the use of desalinated seawater for agriculture and aquaculture – were selected in an open call and each has been awarded capital funding of $1 million.