Power Update #18 — Power Surge for 2020 and Beyond
As 2019 draws to a close, I’d like to take this time to recap what we’ve achieved and see what 2020 has to offer.
While the last 12 months have been challenging with the completion of our first Alpha test — which allowed us to trade across Singapore’s electricity grid — and the investment from TEPCO, we’ve had some significant movements of people within the company. The most notable of which was my assuming the mantle of CEO and the departure of Julius from ELECTRIFY.
We spent much of 2019 lobbying various power companies and utilities in the region to look into peer-to-peer (P2P) as a viable energy innovation solution, along with blockchain as a part of the solution. So here’s a quick recap into what we’ve achieved and what we’re going to look forward to in 2020.
Deployment in Singapore
After months of work, we’re finally well into integration with one of Singapore’s oldest and most established gentailers to deploy the Synergy P2P solution across the city. Even though we’re unable to announce their participation due to a PR embargo, but ink on the agreements have dried. Going has been slow because a fully transactional deployment is expected — consumers and producers will be able to settle payment from within our platform — and there’s still a lot of backend integration to the retailer’s systems and approval from the regulator. The current target is to launch the platform by the end of Q1/2020.
Deployment in Malaysia
We’re currently in discussion with TNB X, the innovation division of the national utility in Malaysia, to design the framework within which we can deploy a P2P solution in the peninsula. We look forward to running a data trial within the next two months to demonstrate the efficacy of the platform.
Deployments in Thailand
Despite a late start, we’ve received a great deal of support in Thailand and will be making official announcements about three pilots in the “land of smiles”.
The first is a 500kWp solar PV project with a shopping mall in Bangkok that will use Synergy to trade energy from the rooftop system with the tenants’ energy loads. Some of these tenants include McDonalds and Starbucks. This private commercial project is significant because we’ll also be deploying a blockchain-based settlement on these premises, using the ELEC token for the first time.
The second project will be with one of the most significant industrial players in Thailand to deliver a P2P energy solution to their industrial park projects. This project is an important milestone for ELECTRIFY because it will be significant proof that the Synergy platform can transact the massive amount of energy that heavy industries will consume. The industrial park already has a considerable amount of onsite solar generation, with larger volumes to come in the next four years. Furthermore, this will also allow their industrial clients looking to build more generation assets to trade their power surpluses.
And last, but certainly not least, we have been selected by a Thai power agency to deploy a pilot test for energy trade across Thailand. The scale of which will be unprecedented and, very significantly, we were given the go-ahead to implement this platform on both AWS and blockchain.
These are very significant landmarks in the development of P2P energy trading around the world but, as with all engagements with large governmental and corporate entities, there’s a news embargo in place. We can only make an official announcement in Q1/2020 with more details on the mechanisms and who our local token partner will be. Yes, we are designing the token uses to stay well within the boundaries of Thailand’s monetary regulations and will be working with a licensed agency. While this may slow development down slightly, it also means long term feasibility, as we operate well with the legal framework.
Rest of the world
We’ve got representation in Spain through a well-known metering company that’s looking to introduce P2P to their utility and government clients, and we have received requests to explore deployments in Australia by a state government.
In Japan, we’re still working with Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA) and Aizu Lab on research around demand response (DR) and P2P energy trading in Fukushima. Hardware deployment to 300 households has already started and we will be matching their consumption load to FREA’s renewable energy generation from wind and solar.
While we pursued external engagements, the ELECTRIFY tech team has been hard at work developing various iterations for our various partners to test and trial. During this time, we’ve also been working closely with AWS and started to scope the scaling technologies we will need to deploy in the coming years. We’ve shared a great deal of what we are doing with AWS, and in return, they have awarded us with AWS Partner Network (APN) Select Technology Partner status. This status is an incredible validation of our platform work, and we look forward to being able to do more with AWS, and their developments in IoT and blockchain. This validation is even more relevant given the recent announcement of the Project Connected Home over IP working group, spearheaded by Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance. We’ve only just begun discussing how we can be a party to this, but the potential is vast.
As you can imagine, we’ve got our work cut out for us in 2020 and beyond. Not only have we found strong support for our platform in the region, but we have also received strong industry support from energy and technology players. After over a year in technological and business development, we’re on the cusp of large-scale deployments. We hope to deliver sound and responsible blockchain and energy solutions well into the future.
Deploying innovation is a long and arduous road, especially in a space as heavily regulated as energy transactions. To our ELECTRIFY Tribe who have supported us till now, you have our deepest thanks and appreciation. The future is bright and I’m more energised than ever about all the projects we have in the pipeline in the coming year.