The Australian government has announced that it will provide over AU$8 million (around US$6 million) in grants for a blockchain-powered smart utilities project.
The funding will see a grant of AU$2.57 million go directly to the project, which will be set up in the City of Fremantle. A futher AU$5.68 million will be provided via project partners including blockchain firm Power Ledger.
According to the company’s blog, the pilot has been set up to explore how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to power distributed energy and water systems. The trial is being conducted with academic and technology partners, including Curtin University, Murdoch University, LandCorp, CSIRO and Cisco.
Curtin University is to oversee project management and carry out research supporting the trial.
According Curtin’s Prof. Greg Morrison:
“We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location.”
Power Ledger, the post states, is providing a transactional platform for renewable assets, as well as the ownership model for the “precinct sized” battery.
The federal grants are being provided as part of the government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, with support also coming from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.
The pilot is expected to commence within two months, and will last for two years, the post states.