Ameren, Opus One Solutions Explore Blockchain for Its Clean Eletric and Gas Energy Initiative
Blockchain and energy have an interesting relationship. On one hand, blockchain uses up huge amounts of energy in the creation of Cryptocurrency, its most famous by-product. On the other hand, it has been used on various energy projects and even those relating to renewable energy.
Now, another energy project is being launched using blockchain, this time by Ameren and Opus One Solutions. The announcement of this was made on March 28, 2019 and the new partnership will work to test a transactive energy marketplace (TEM) and evaluate the use of Blockchain ledger systems. The new marketplace will be built upon a very technologically advanced energy grid as well as Opus One’s GridOS platform.
The potential application of blockchain in this project is huge as Ameren serves about 2.4 million electric and 900,000 gas consumers across the United States and as part of their goal to promote clean energy, they are looking to make use of blockchain, though it was not stated exactly how it would be done.
“Identifying the value local distributed energy resources (DER) can provide to our distribution system and the customers it serves, helps inform how and where customers should invest in clean renewable power,” said Ron Pate, Senior Vice President of Operations and Technical Services with Ameren Illinois. “Transactive energy markets will ensure that distributed energy resources are compensated appropriately, for the services that they provide.”
In essence, Ameren intends to put a value on each microgrid that is provided by the DER and this is where blockchain could potentially help by creating a reliable record of microgrids, where they are supplied to and so on. It has also been pointed out that this sort of project has not been embarked upon before and it will be interesting to see the end results.
“Assessing how each DER provides value through system optimization using Opus One’s GridOS, while identifying the potential for similar markets near the microgrid and across the distribution system is first of its kind in North America”
said Hari Subramaniam, Chief of Strategic Growth of Opus One Solutions.
Power to the Blockchain
While Blockchain seems to be leading the way into the future of technology, there is still the issue of its high energy consumption and whether that is sustainable long-term.
Even though the world seem to be looking to go green and embrace renewable energy, there is the question of whether blockchain will do the same. Some believe that it can and will with time while others are a bit more skeptical.