CASE STUDY: Learn more about our live project with BCPG in Bangkok, Thailand

See below for a deep dive into the project details in Bangkok and the value peer to peer energy trading has derived.

The T77 site in Bangkok with one of the participant’s rooftop solar installations.

Power Ledger and BCPG first launched our peer-to-peer (P2P) renewable energy trading trial in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand in August 2018. This marked the first time renewable energy was ever exchanged in a P2P environment in Asia. The T77 precinct, where the trial is taking place, involves the following large energy consumers: a shopping center, a school, an apartment building and a dental hospital. To ensure liquidity in the environment, BCPG placed a quantity of POWR tokens in escrow as a license fee to use the Power Ledger platform, and Power Ledger matched that escrow from the Power Ledger growth pool. The exact amount escrowed is currently not for public disclosure per agreements between BCPG and Power Ledger.

Working Together for a Cheaper, Cleaner Energy Future

Deploying this project involved a great deal of planning and focus from both Power Ledger and BCPG teams. Power Ledger’s development team worked around the clock to implement BCPG’s bespoke P2P requests, while BCPG’s project team oversaw the installation of the rooftop solar systems and meters on-site at T77.

BCPG’s willingness to learn, collaborate and contribute to Power Ledger’s mission of delivering cheaper, cleaner energy played a major role in the success of the launch in August. This shared goal was fundamental to the successful launch of the trial and a driving force for all the progress that continues to stem from it.

Education Is Key

David Martin, Power Ledger’s Managing Director traveled to Bangkok for the launch of the T77 trial to speak with all project stakeholders. In September, Power Ledger hosted a large contingent of Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and BCPG representatives in Perth.

During their visit, MEA and BCPG met with the network operator in Perth, Western Power, the Economic Regulatory Authority (ERA) of Western Australia, and also Synergy, the energy retailer in Perth. The aim of the visit was to gain a greater understanding of how P2P has been deployed in Australia, under different regulatory and market structures. MEA was able to learn from authorities in Perth about how they have approached implementing blockchain technology in the energy system, and the tariff structures they have developed for Power Ledger’s “RENeW Nexus” project in the City of Fremantle.

“The progress we have made during our trial with BCPG is a testament to their own determination in driving adoption. They have facilitated discussions with many key stakeholders from regulatory to governmental bodies, like EGAT (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) and the MEA. This has helped immeasurably as we continue to pave the way for regulatory change,” Mr Martin said.
“We are humbled by the efforts of every person, agency and organization involved. BCPG is truly partnering with us in delivering low-cost, low carbon energy to the people of Thailand.”

With the success of the deployment of the trial at T77, Power Ledger’s blockchain technology has made P2P energy trading a reality in the ASEAN region. As the electricity system becomes increasingly more distributed, Power Ledger and BCPG are providing the world with a prime example of how best to optimize the use of the distribution network to accelerate this change. Partnering with organizations like BCPG is crucial to the realization of Power Ledger’s vision.

Valuable Findings

As a result of embarking on unchartered territory, Power Ledger’s first trial in Asia has the promise of providing extensive and meaningful discoveries.

Rene Haagen, Power Ledger’s Project Manager and lead on the BCPG project, said, “The weeks leading up to the trial launch were filled with constant communication and platform testing with the project team at BCPG. It was all hands on deck. At one point we were scheduling calls every half hour to check on the meter readings in the platform.”

To ensure the integrity of data in the platform, each meter was tested for accuracy, with both BCPG and Power Ledger analyzing the platform’s outputs.

Two of Power Ledger’s developers working on enhancements to the xGrid/uGrid platform.
Haagen continued, “The most rewarding part was when we saw our first P2P trade live on the platform. It made the launch so much more meaningful for both teams.”
The first P2P trade occurred from one of the buildings at the school, Bangkok Prep, on August 22nd.

With 400 kW installed capacity between all school buildings, their solar panels generated more than their demand and they traded their excess energy to the apartment building, shopping center and dental hospital. Power Ledger’s P2P trading platform enabled the school to sell this energy, rather than letting it spill back into the network. In a commercialized deployment, Power Ledger’s technology will allow participants to receive a higher return by selling their surplus solar generation to a peer, rather than their energy retailer for the traditional feed-in tariff. Participants in the T77 trial do not currently have access to a feed-in tariff which further leverages the benefits this blockchain-enabled solution can deliver.

Economic Benefits

As anticipated, the trial thus far has confirmed the economic benefits of P2P energy trading. From a financial standpoint, the most valuable benefit of P2P trading is the ability to monetize any excess renewable energy generated. In the T77 trading group, a Bangkok Prep building exported almost 545 kWh while the school was not in session over the first weekend of the trial. In an agreement between BCPG and the school, any profits from P2P trading will be used for corporate social responsibility purposes, or educational programs on sustainability. However, if the school were retaining the profits, they would have realized a gain of about $80 AUD from the monetization of their excess energy over the course of this weekend alone. This highlights the ability for consumers, from residential to commercial, to earn income simply by utilizing the Power Ledger platform. Expanding this savings over the course of a year would be meaningful for a trading participant that has periods of significantly lower energy use, like Bangkok Prep. Meanwhile, the other participants who can buy the excess solar from Bangkok Prep would also benefit from a 5% discount on their electricity, simply by consuming P2P energy instead of buying from the grid.

The image above taken from Power Ledger’s platform depicts Bangkok Prep’s load profile on the weekends in graphical form. During the sunlight hours, the graph clearly shows where periods of excess solar energy is generated and can be traded with peers.

Additionally, the trial has highlighted the value of granular usage data. For a typical electricity consumer, they are used to receiving their energy usage as aggregated totals, often 30 to 90 days after consuming the energy. However, the Power Ledger platform delivers empowerment to end users in the form of near real-time data, which in the BCPG trial is provided in 15-minute intervals. With more frequent data, participants in the T77 trial are able to use this information to alter their consumption habits, and think of ways to adjust behavior during periods of high consumption. Without seeing data with this kind of granularity, coupled with real-time savings by using solar and P2P energy, consumers would not be as incentivized to change their habits.

Finally, this project with BCPG has allowed Power Ledger to identify ways to streamline future trial implementations. Project Manager, Haagen, said, “We learned so much from the planning of the BCPG project that will allow us to more seamlessly integrate features into our platform going forward. The more projects we onboard, the more process improvements we’ll be able to make.”

BCPG has noted that some of their biggest takeaways thus far have been the smart meter deployment process, meter configuration on-site, remote data collection protocols and regulatory hurdles for a broader roll-out.

Although BCPG is still actively pursuing MEA’s permission to utilize their network for transacting energy, the sandbox trial at T77 has provided an excellent example of what a live P2P market could look like in an urban environment in one of the largest cities in the world.

What’s Next?

There’s still six months until the project reaches its completion. In the coming months, BCPG is weighing up the option of installing another asset at the T77 site — a battery which will allow participants to further optimize their use of solar energy. This will require Power Ledger to further develop the logic built into the BCPG platform as another trading participant is added to the mix.

For renewable energy developers like BCPG, the Power Ledger platform identifies additional investment opportunity where some participants in the trading environment do not have as much excess capacity to monetize. This presents BCPG with the opportunity to install more PV to increase trading and drive value for customers. The months of December and January are some of the sunniest in Bangkok, so analyzing how this affects the amount and frequency of P2P energy trades should also prove to be valuable.

BCPG has shown a strong eagerness to discuss and engage with all the relevant utilities and government bodies in Thailand to make way for commercialization on a large scale. Power Ledger and BCPG hope to continue down this path, engaging with the MEA and other key Thai regulatory bodies, to deliver not only value to end-users, but also to the greater society in the form decarbonization.

About Power Ledger: Power Ledger is a software company developing solutions for the energy industry. The Power Ledger Platform is an ecosystem of blockchain applications. Since releasing our flagship peer-to-peer trading solution that allows households that whole own energy assets to trade electricity with their neighbors and set their own prices, we have been engaged to develop additional products, such as microgrid trading, carbon product trading, electric vehicle settlement and asset germination events.

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