PJM Interconnection and Energy Web Foundation to Pilot Blockchain Tool For US Power Market

A subsidiary of grid operator PJM Interconnection has joined with a Switzerland-based group Energy Web Foundation to develop a blockchain-based tool to help the U.S. power generation industry.

On October 25th Energy Web Foundation (EWF) and PJM Environmental Information Services (PJM-EIS) declared that they would collaborate on developing and testing a digital distributed ledger system to trace electricity from wind and solar power plants as and when it’s produced, delivered, traded and sold.

The project will allow implementation of Energy Web Origin for the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) administered by PJM-EIS.

EW Origin is a customizable, open-source, decentralized toolkit for renewable energy and carbon markets that analyzes and intensifies the way in which customers obtain renewable energy. PJM Interconnection is the power grid operator and wholesale market administrator for a 13-state region of the United States serving about 20% of the US population(approximately 65 million people.)

GATS is a paid subscription service which generates and tracks a generator-specific electronic certificate for every MWh of electricity produced by a generator.

The platform will utilize EW Origin toolkit for renewable energy markets. It will be open source and once completed it can be modified and adopted by any green attribute registry or issuing body across the globe. This project will operate in a simulated environment, with no transactions and no exchange of dollars; the REC trading market known as GATS will continue to run as usual.

In a press release EWF said that its goal is to illustrate how hundreds of thousands of distributed energy assets could compete in renewable energy certificates (REC) markets, in which low costs and ease of transactions would promote peer-to-peer participation even by small rooftop solar installations.

They have conducted a small pilot to test the product. Their headquarters building in Berlin matches its energy consumption with the output of solar panels on two houses.

“We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Energy Web Foundation and gain experience with a new technology. Our customers have expressed interest in incorporating blockchain technology into our services, and we look forward to leveraging the technology where it can provide additional benefits,” Ken Schuyler, president of PJM-EIS said.

The developers say that the project has the potential to make transactions faster and cheaper, through a secure trading platform that can attract more participation than existing mechanisms.

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