BCPG Organizes a Visit to Power Ledger’s Trial Project in Australia, Aiming to be the First to Operate Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Project in South East Asia

BCPG Public Company Limited is heading for the Digital Energy era with minor reshuffling in the organisational structure. The company is positive that its prototype project using blockchain technology through Power Ledger’s platform in Sansiri’s T77 will be the first peer-to-peer energy trading project in South East Asia.

Mr. Bundit Sapianchai, BCPG President and CEO, said that following success from investments in solar power business in Japan, wind power business in the Philippines and geothermal power business in Indonesia, BCPG is striding into the retail space, aided by the added value of the peer-to-peer trading platform.

Recently, BCPG held a press visit to White Gum Valley project developed by Power Ledger and their partners near Fremantle, Western Australia.  It is among the world’s first trial projects for peer-to-peer energy trading using blockchain technology.  In Western Australia, solar power has become very popular as one in four households installs roof-top solar panels.

The 80 residents, including units and townhouses, is part of a microgrid that utilise the energy captured through their solar panels and topped up by the main electricity grid. The setup includes a 300kWh battery storage system and 150kW from solar panels. It allows residents to balance their energy use between their local grid and the main electricity grid, and is an important test for the Western Power network in sharing energy between households. There is also the option to allow any excess electricity to be sold back to retailers via the Western Power network.

“Partnering with Western Power and Curtin University, Power Ledger was the first company to successfully use distributed ledger technology to facilitate electricity trading across the meter and to manage settlements without going through an electricity retailer. At White Gum Valley, the system allows peer-to-peer sharing of electricity between residents and is expected to provide about 70 per cent of the energy needs of the complex.  What we have been offering to our customers is a peer-to-peer transaction which ultimately brings them a lower cost for transaction, enabling residents to lead a “low-carbon, low-cost” life.  By incorporating the innovative power system as part of the overall property development, the project is financially supported by the Federal Government.  Power Ledger’s role is to provide a technology platform while Western Power manages the network and also provides funding for a PhD student from Curtin University to research the project’s impacts and benefits for the electricity network, for a sustainable future for the community," said Mr. David Martin, Power Ledger Managing Director and Co-founder.

Elsewhere beyond Australia, Power Ledger has a series of trials of blockchain energy trading platform in several countries such as New Zealand, where the trial is now concluded, and the underway ones are in Thailand and India. Two weeks ago, the company announced a trial with Kansai Electric Power Co., (KEPCO) in Osaka – one of Japan's largest power utilities, with the first phase covering approximately 10 households.  And most recently, Power Ledger and Clean Energy Blockchain Network went into partnership with Northwestern University for the first commercial deployment in the United States.  "We are thrilled to have moved beyond trials and into commercial deployment of our energy trading platform in a historical trading market like Chicago. This is a major opportunity for us." Power Ledger managing director and co-founder David Martin said.

For BCPG’s prototype project in Thailand with Sansiri Plc., at Sansiri Town, Sukhumvit 77 or T77, Bundit said that the first phase comprises Habito Mall (approximately 55 kW) Bangkok Prep International School (230 kW) and Park Court Condominium of MK Property (180 kW).  Rooftop solar panels have been installed at Habito Mall, and electricity sales are expected in June. BCPG is currently installing solar panels on other buildings, which, right after the completion of the installation, Power Ledger will start installing its platform using blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer energy trading and energy management for the first time in South East Asia.  

“We are developing a Smart Community where residents can live in harmony with the environment.  They can generate their own electricity of which the surplus can be traded with the help of cutting-edge technology which also enables us to provide energy management service.  With internet of energy, we are transforming the energy industry by making renewable energy accessible for and affordable by all under a concept "Energy for Everyone”.

“For me, in changing the face of energy systems, technology is not a challenge, imagination is.  The technological challenges of building and maintaining distributed microgrids were solved a decade ago and have been continuously improving.  The challenge of change, however, is to accept that the physical and economic frameworks of the energy system can be fundamentally different.  In order to make an impact, it does not require huge investments, because distributed systems can be fit for purpose, low-cost and built to meet incremental demand.  It is possible to use it at any scale - you can even scale it up to a national scale.  What we are doing would be a small change for the country, but it would lead the way for some big changes in the energy market.  We are working with many partners, government and private sectors alike, to make the changes which is good for the country, and ultimately will help reduce our energy costs in Thailand,” concluded Bundit.