Integrated distributed energy & water trial gets USD 2m from Australian govt

Author: Christoph Scholz.

November 17 (Renewables Now) - The Australian government is giving AUD 2.57 million (USD 2m/EUR 1.65m) in funding for a project in Fremantle city that will assess how blockchain technology and data analytics can allow cities to integrate distributed energy and water systems.

The funds come under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. Project participants, including academic, infrastructure and technology partners, will bring a further AUD 5.68 million for the two-year project. Work is to start in the next two months.

As part of the initiative, Australian blockchain energy technology firm Power Ledger, Curtin and Murdoch universities and several other partners will trial the use of blockchain-powered distributed energy and water systems. With the help of blockchain technology and data analytics, the work of a large solar power plant, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels, a precinct-sized battery, an electric vehicle charge station, and precinct water treatment and capture systems will be controlled to demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities.

“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,” commented Professor Greg Morrison at Curtin University. The university is in charge of the project management and it will carry out the research underpinning the project.

Power Ledger will provide the transactional layer for the renewable assets and the ownership model for the community owned battery. The partners will rely on Murdoch University for research support on alternative district water supply and storage schemes, and on the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Data61 for megatrend analysis, risk analysis, statistical forecasting and systems modelling. The Curtin Institute for Computation and Data61 will provide the data analytics. As part of a strategic partnership with Curtin University -- Innovation Central Perth -- Cisco Systems will also be involved in the project.

“Funding which allows research to explore alternative water and energy systems has the potential to significantly reduce infrastructure development costs for decades to come,” said Dean Mudford, COO of Landcorp, which will monitor the project’s success in order to explore alternative water and energy systems that are connected to smart technology.

(AUD 1 = USD 0.75/EUR 0.64)

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Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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