The Western Australia’s City of Fremantle will be testing the use of blockchain technology under a two-year project hoping to determine how the technology will be used by cities to integrate distributed energy and water systems.
The project is backed by the Australian government and some project sponsors like Curtin University, Murdoch University, Cisco and CSIR/Data61.
Academic, infrastructure and technology partners include Power Ledger a Perth-based blockchain startup, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power and the government-backed Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.
According to Power Ledger, the city will see a large 5MW solar photovoltaic plant, a precinct-sized battery, rooftop panels, an electric vehicle charge station and precinct water treatment and capture systems installment with the help of blockchain technology and data analytics.The project partners expect that the trial demonstrates the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities.
Last week, the Australian government provided AU$2.57 million (US$1.9 million) in funding for the project as part of its Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The government allocated a total of AU$28.5 million for the program that included 52 projects around the country with each project co-funded by local universities, industry and governments.
In this project, the partners will fund the additional AU$5.68 million.
Curtin University is given the responsibility to manage the project and carry out the project-related research.
“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,” said professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University.
Research on alternative district water supply and storage plan will be provided by the Murdoch University. Similarly, CSIRO’s Data61 will provide statistical forecasting, while LandCrop, WA real estate developer is responsible to monitor the project’s success.
Power Ledger which recently launched a blockchain energy initiative with Origin Energy is expected to provide a platform that will serve as a transactional layer for the renewable assets and the ownership model for a community-owned battery.
“We’re excited to break ground on this truly novel project that utilizes blockchain technology to orchestrate sustainable assets,” said Dr. Jemma Green, co-founder and chairperson of Power Ledger.
Other West Australian beneficiaries of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program were:
- The city of Perth, which was funded AU$1,314,494 for its Smart Cities Collaboration.
- City of Joondalup, which was given AU$867,000 for Smart Monitoring and Management Yellagonga, Wetlands.
- University of Western Australia received AU$500,000 for its RailSmart Planning, Wanneroo.
- Waardi Limited got AU$190,000 for Solar Energy Solutions, Broome.
- City of Gosnells gained AU$132,781 for Energy Housing, South Perth.
- The Shire of Collie was handed AU$118,088 for Smart Emergency and Fire Management.