First light — introducing Solara

Solara secures the decentralised renewable energy ecosystem by combining a patented Internet-of-Things sensor with a blockchain platform.

Our hardware, the Solara Hardware Module (SHM), is built directly into individual pieces of solar infrastructure, trustlessly authenticating solar data and establishing a distributed root of trust in the green energy system.

The SOLARA Platform is a global blockchain platform that uses the SHM to:

  • Provide trustless and provable green-energy provenance
  • Establish a new asset class of tokenised solar infrastructure
  • Access new, high-resolution solar data and provide markets for trading it
  • Streamline solar investment using blockchain to tokenise ownership
  • Facilitate global energy and carbon-credit trading with transparent proofs of origin

We are solving these key issues in the exisiting market:

Our proposition is simple: to create a source of trustless solar data using secure hardware and blockchain authenticity.

To understand the value our solutions offer, it is important to first understand the context in which Solara was founded.

Setting the scene

Solara is part of a global transition. Our planet is becoming hyperconnected, and societies are restructuring to new models that encourage sharing, collaboration and peer-to-peer interaction.

Technological advancement is making this shift possible by giving individuals and communities new tools to collaborate globally at scale. Airbnb, Uber and Amazon are examples of disruptive business models built on new technology (the internet) that empower collaboration between individuals. These are only the beginning.

Blockchain is taking a radical step forward by decentralising trust. Today, vertical power structures service our society in areas such as digital payments, identity and ownership by providing trust (e.g. a bank, government or conveyancer) between unknown parties. Companies using blockchain can provide the same services, but with equitable and scalable delivery. Revolutionary new tools for collaboration are emerging as a result through the application of decentralised currencies, smart contracts and “digital autonomous organisations”.

It is a transformation from centralised, vertical structures to decentralised, lateral models of organisation. It is the death of middlemen and of dependence on centralised marketplaces.

Global rate of electricity market decentralisation — AEMO 2018

In coming years we will almost certainly see the growth of decentralised industries, such as manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing), transportation networks (e.g. autonomous vehicles and drone networks) and, most importantly, distributed green-energy generation. Distributed systems scale well and take the burden off existing supply chains.

We see this new model as a necessary step forward in servicing the world’s growing population, but it recognises the prerequisite of valid data to coordinate it — Solara is satisfying this need.

Energy grid of the future

Solar-energy adoption is growing globally, decentralising energy production thanks to the fact that it can be implemented anywhere the sun shines, making it scalable and naturally distributed. Solar energy is the most accessible source for individuals wanting to reduce their environmental impacts (and financial costs).

Solar cost falling, demand increasing (Solara white paper)

Widespread solar adoption marks a shift to a new distributed energy supply and management model. This is the beginning of the end for centralised fossil-fuelled energy production.

The grid of the future will be an ecosystem of peer-to-peer solar energy trading, with panel owners selling excess energy to their community and virtual power plants via the grid. This system is inherently robust, thanks to self-sustainable microgrids featuring battery storage and automated management services supported by large sustainable-energy producers and batteries.

Future energy utilities will use sophisticated data analytics to sell network optimisation algorithms and efficiency implementations to consumers.

But where will they get their data?

A core issue that the future energy grid faces now is the lack of verifiable solar data with transparent reporting. Without such data, the green energy market will be open to manipulation, collusion and data falsification. We need new infrastructure.

Establishing a source of trustless data

Solara has developed and patented an industrial Internet-of-Things sensor called the Solara Hardware Module (SHM), which trustlessly reports solar data proofs to a decentralised database — blockchain. SHMs integrate directly into solar infrastructure (such as panels and batteries) and use embedded cryptographic keys to authenticate green-energy production and generate a deep record of panel-specific data.

SHM integrating into panel

The data will be used by peer-to-peer energy trading protocols, future electrical utilities and solar project managers. SHMs with blockchain integration ensure data integrity without a centralised coordinator. Widespread adoption creates an auditable energy grid, connected by the Internet of Things.

Solara is developing the SOLARA Platform, which offers a suite of complementary tools and marketplaces, including a unique solar data and analytics marketplace for settlements and services. Solar infrastructure owners gain secondary value streams from their green investments through the sale of the data.

Applications of SHM data

A blockchain-connected Internet-of-Things device such as our SHM has many applications on the SOLARA Platform. Here are some of the low-hanging fruit:

“Forensic grade” green-energy data
SHM attestations create traceable green data that can be used to transparently construct green-energy certificates of origin. The SOLARA Platform will enable secondary markets of tokenised carbon trading in which companies and organisations can purchase green electrons and green credits. This flexible model has wide utility for meeting carbon-offset targets.

At a local level, electron provenance enables a high-resolution, peer-to-peer settlement market in which energy contributors are accurately remunerated for their electrons. Importantly, tariffs are not set by a centralised energy provider — the market decides.

Tokenising solar assets — Project Asset Tokens
The SHM has been designed to prove the existence of solar assets using a digital heartbeat that updates an asset’s status at regular intervals to the blockchain. A blockchain token can be issued using this heartbeat as a verifiable proof of existence — Solara calls these Project Asset Tokens (PAT tokens). PAT tokens are a new class of cryptoasset; they represent legal ownership rights of solar assets that are transferable and divisible.

Tokenising ownership rights to photovoltaic cells

PAT tokens are inextricably linked to real panels, batteries and inverters via SHMs. They have an intrinsic mechanism for financial return through secondary sales (electrons, data) and enable new markets of tradable solar infrastructure.

PAT tokens are issued independently by asset owners, such as solar farm managers and private panel owners. The system has a simplicity similar to the creation of ERC20 tokens using our open-source Project Asset Token Standard and the SOLARA Platform.

Solar project crowdfunding
Project managers and companies can distribute PAT tokens to fund solar projects. The trust and transparency of the blockchain increases investor confidence while streamlining ownership certificate issuance.

The SOLARA Platform will allow solar investors to connect with projects of any size, from community installations to solar farms, accelerating the global adoption of solar energy securely using PAT tokens.

Tokenised solar assets have a number of benefits, like fractional ownership, the elegant distribution of financial yields from electron and data sales, and peer-to-peer exchange. These features drastically reduce management overheads for solar projects.

SOL — turning on solar infrastructure

SOL is the SOLARA Platform’s native utility token. It is the essential lifeblood of our blockchain ecosystem, and is used as a medium for trustless collaboration between parties. SOL tokens are required to interact on the SOLARA Platform and to gain access to raw data and analytics (although settlements are currency-agnostic). A portion of SOL must be redeemed to register an asset in the Solara ecosystem and to turn on an SHM.

SOL is built to the ERC20 token standard, making it compatible with Ethereum wallets and 0x Protocol decentralised exchanges.

Solara will soon hold a public Token Generation Event to make SOL available to initial supporters. We are in the process of an initial equity raise via private investment — more details are available on our community Telegram.

Growing our Solarpunk community

Solara is championing a growing community of Solarpunks. Solarpunk is a social initiative for proactive optimists with a passion for solving the planet’s environmental crisis by harmonising advanced technology and environmentally conscious practices.

Solara is inherently Solarpunk, and it empowers communities with tools to mobilise a bottom-up solution to the environmental crisis while encouraging inclusivity. We believe that everyone has a right to cheap and reliable green energy, and we are creating the tools to achieve this vision.

Australia, which is blessed by bountiful sunshine and latent solar potential, is the perfect testing ground for our technology; we are passionate about engaging the solar community and believe that Australia will become one of the world’s largest energy generators and exporters as renewable development continues.

Looking forward

At Solara, we are optimistic about establishing an equitable energy system that rewards prosumers, empowers communities and provides essential data to optimise the burgeoning peer-to-peer green-energy system.

Our patented hardware has been developed. Our technical white paper is in development, as are the terms and conditions required to receive our Token Generation Event paper. We are now working hard on proof-of-concept implementations with our partners.

We are looking for passionate community leaders, token developers and Solarpunks to join the discussion and help grow our project from the bottom up.

We would love your questions and feedback, so please join our community on Telegram!

This introduction to Solara only scratches the surface — for a deeper dive please visit our site, solara.io, download our white paper.

Stay tuned — you will be hearing from us again soon!

Callan Sarre

Community Manager at Solara
Director at
Cryptocate

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