Canadian Municipal Utility Launches Energy Trading Platform Powered by Blockchain Software

Ontario municipal utility, Alectra Utilities is piloting a customer energy marketplace with the launch of a transactive energy platform, GridExchange, a blockchain-based software platform that enables customers with distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles to participate in an energy marketplace with Alectra

A visualisation of GridExchange, Alectra’s blockchain-powered energy trading platform. Credit: Alectra Utilities website

A visualisation of GridExchange, Alectra’s blockchain-powered energy trading platform. Credit: Alectra Utilities website

Ontario municipal utility, Alectra Utilities is piloting a customer energy marketplace with the launch of a transactive energy platform, GridExchange. Funded by Natural Resources Canada and in partnership with Sunverge, Savage Data, and FLO, GridExchange is a blockchain-based software platform that enables customers with distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles to participate in an energy marketplace with Alectra.

GridExchange’s blockchain-based software platform enables energy exchange between consumers and the grid. The 3-month pilot programme will engage 21 Ontario households across Vaughan, Markham, Barrie, Richmond Hill and Hamilton. Households with distributed energy resources including solar panels, battery storage and and electric vehicles (EVs) can trade energy on the platform. Participating customers will be compensated in cash and ‘GxRewards’ which are redeemable at local merchants.

GridExchange (being implemented as a mobile and web application) is designed to record and deliver real-time information about available customer energy resources, customer participation history and the power grid’s needs. The implementation of the pilot follows an earlier proof of concept initiated with 5 customers in 2018. In the pilot phase, the exchange of energy will be tested across three initial energy services: grid balancing, managed EV charging and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is funded by Natural Resources Canada and is being implemented in partnership with cloud-based platform provider Sunverge, energy services provider Savage Data and EV charging infrastructure provider FLO. Alectra is the largest municipally-owned electric utility in Canada in terms of customers, serving more than one million homes and businesses in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area in southern Ontario.