Advanced transactive energy companies

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Advanced Transactive Energy Companies - Electron: Capabilities

Electron's capabilities, especially as they relate to distribution system operation and electric vehicle support, lie in the design and development of an energy flexibility trading platform and a shared energy data asset register. An energy technology company rather than a distribution system operator, London-based Electron has other capabilities including the development of solutions for metering, billing, security, grid management, and data access permissioning on the Ethereum and Energy Web blockchain platforms.

CAPABILITIES RELATING TO DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATION

  • London-based Electron is not a distribution system operator. It describes itself as an energy technology company that leverages its blockchain and energy expertise to develop digital infrastructure for the energy sector. Its products include balancing markets, attribute markets, data markets and services, a curtailment market, and an asset register.
  • However, Electron has recently partnered with Northern Powergrid, UK Power Networks, and SP Energy Networks, which are three of the six distribution network operators (DNOs) in the United Kingdom.
  • Similar to other DNOs in the United Kingdom, Northern Powergrid, UK Power Networks, and SP Energy Networks are all transitioning to a distribution system operator (DSO) model.
  • In February 2018, it was announced that Electron, together with Siemens and National Grid Electricity System Operator, had formed a consortium with EDF Energy, Baringa, Flexitricity, Northern Powergrid, KiWi Power, Open Energi, Statkraft, Shell, and UK Power Networks to develop a platform where energy flexibility can be traded.
  • Jim Cardwell, trading and innovation head at Northern Powergrid, noted that Northern Powergrid's collaboration with Electron is in line with its broader activity portfolio setting out its transition to a distribution system operator and its efforts to provide value for its customers, while Sotiris Georgiopoulos, smart grid development head at UK Power Networks, noted how energy flexibility is instrumental to how value for customers will be delivered in the future.
  • Supported by a grant from the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, the consortium, which was dubbed an "Energy eBay," was created to facilitate the technical development of a multilateral transaction platform that will accommodate "Demand Side Response actions," with an initial product set and a commercialization model as the deliverables. The project is now marked 'complete'.
  • Electron is working with National Grid, UK Power Networks, and SP Energy Networks on an innovation project named RecorDER, which aims to develop "a shared asset register for energy asset data." This project, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2020, aims to create a clear and cohesive view of energy network assets by integrating prevailing datasets. New systems advancing carbonization and operating cost efficiency will be enabled by the improved asset data visibility and availability.
  • As the project makes use of the resource register of the Energy Networks Association's Open Networks and The Energy Data Task Force, the granting of access to datasets will be secure. Through the shared asset register, network operators, regulators, and aggregators can work together to build shared datasets, and asset managers and owners can connect their assets to third-party datasets or consent to the use of their asset data in connected systems.
  • In summary, Electron's capabilities, as far as distribution system operation is concerned, lie in the development of an energy flexibility trading platform and a shared asset register.

CAPABILITIES RELATING TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE SUPPORT

  • Electric vehicle support is not listed among Electron's products and services, but Kaluza, a smart grid technology company owned by energy supplier OVO, has recently invested in Electron. Kaluza's purpose is the development and management of hardware and software to enable the "integration of electric vehicles, electric heating and battery storage onto the grid." It was formed by OVO to address the problem of integrating an immense number of energy-intensive devices or appliances (e.g., electric vehicles) onto the grid.
  • The development and deployment of a shared energy data asset register and a distributed energy trading platform to facilitate this transition and integration is where Electron comes in.
  • Both Electron and Kaluza have this shared vision of "a distributed, flexible and zero-carbon energy system where connected devices such as electric vehicles can support the grid."
  • Kaluza's investment in Electron, which was announced in March 2019, will speed up Electron's development and deployment of its distributed energy flexibility marketplace and shared energy data asset register.
  • In summary, Electron's capabilities, as far as electric vehicle support is concerned, lie also in the development of an energy flexibility trading platform and a shared asset register.

OTHER CAPABILITIES

  • Electron's other capabilities include the design and development of digital infrastructure for the following markets and services:
    • Curtailment market. This is a "peer-to-peer market" where "generation assets can pay other generation [assets] or consumers" to circumvent curtailment.
    • Balancing markets. These are markets where utilities can enter into contracts with assets on the register and purchase "active power or capacity for balancing." In these markets, either active power or financial products can be traded.
    • Attribute markets. These are markets where asset attributes that are either physical or financial can be traded. It integrates with the asset register, and it permits value stacking.
    • Data markets and services. These are markets where data for services and analysis, such as insurance data, can be bought or sold.
  • With data from 60 energy suppliers and "53 million metering points," Electron was able to develop a demo platform on the Ethereum blockchain to replicate the energy market in the United Kingdom. With this replicated market, Electron was able to demonstrate that a blockchain-enabled solution would permit consumers to change energy suppliers in as fast as 15 seconds, at most 20 times faster than what is possible at present.
  • Electron is knowledgeable in developing solutions for metering, billing, security, and grid management on platforms Ethereum and Ethereum-based Energy Web using proof of work and proof of authority as consensus algorithms.
  • It, however, focuses on developing a marketplace for flexibility in the use and production of electric power. In such a marketplace, end users such as households can decrease their energy consumption for a price. Apart from the energy flexibility trading platform and the asset register that were already mentioned, a module where data access permissions can be granted or rescinded is also being developed.

Part
02
of four
Part
02

Advanced Transactive Energy Companies - LO3: Capabilities

LO3 Energy Exergy platform creates localized energy marketplaces for transacting energy and capabilities related to distribution system operation and electric vehicle support.

IS LO3 ENERGY A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATOR?

  • LO3 Energy Exergy data platform is a distribution system operator (DSO) that grants access to consumers using price as a proxy, helping the DSO manage energy use, load balancing and demand response at negotiated rates.

WHAT LO3 OFFERS AS A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATOR

  • A case study of the DSO indicates that its mode of action includes obtaining customers' ‘smart’ data using a smart meter or other devices in the market for commercial, industrial and flexible consumers, provides customers' mobile app access, behavioral responses, or self-executing contract transactions activated by control events, aids customer payment and other valuable services such as capacity, balancing, and frequency response.

DOES LO3 OFFER ELECTRIC VEHICLE SUPPORT?

  • Yes. The Exergy platform supports electric vehicle charging both publicly and privately and also aids electric vehicles' selling of their surplus energy on a local network including consumer mobile app notification. (Source 1).

WHAT LO3 OFFERS AS ELECTRIC VEHICLE SUPPORT

  • According to a case study of electric vehicle (EV) support, Brooklyn Microgrid Exergy provides location proximity and access to optimized EV battery charging stations.
  • Token-based solution that can expand beyond the local energy microgrid, EV charging network support that is combined and managed support that provides inherent flexibility of the EV load profile.
  • Potential for bidirectional power flow between transactive energy value streams with energy retail and wholesale segments.
  • Mechanisms to expand intelligent EV charging infrastructure including customer service supports in the value chain.
  • Research indicates that there is an ongoing project between LO3 Energy and eMotorWerks, to connect JuiceNet EV charging platform to LO3's transactive energy marketplaces. Developing local renewable microgrid energy could aid EV plug-in and the energy trade.

OTHER LO3 CAPABILITIES

  • The Exergy platform facilitates autonomous ‘Peer-to-Peer’ renewable energy transactions among consumers generating their own renewable energy.
  • The Exergy platform provides a microgrid of connected consumer energy assets that aids in the establishment of a sustainable community that generates, stores and trades energy locally.
  • This includes solar microgrids, such as the LO3 Energy Euroa's virtual solar microgrid plan which is expected to enable farmers buy and sell locally-generated renewable energy.
  • The Customizable App allows third parties to engage in the energy marketplace in activities such as recruitment and selection of market participants and setting marketplace rules, token incentives and other interactions.
  • Exergy’s distributed ledger blockchain information system controls, manages and validates marketplace transactions and activities.
  • Exergy IoT hardware aids in controlling distributed energy devices, utilizing algorithms to translate economic signals and processing transactions.
  • With potential for a blockchain-managed virtual power plant, LO3 Energy and Kyocera Corporation are currently testing the possibility of using peer-to-peer distributed networks to manage virtual power plants using solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and batteries.

Additional LO3 Energy innovations and projects include:

  • Algal Microgrid Project in Algal, Germany and Micro Hedging Project in Texas, U.S.

Part
03
of four
Part
03

Advanced Transactive Energy Companies - Peak Power Systems: Capabilities

Peak Power Systems is a distribution system operator responsible for operating, maintaining, and developing the distribution system that pertains to distributed energy in Canada. More information on the topic has been presented below.

IS PEAK POWER SYSTEMS A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATOR?

  • Peak Power Systems is a distribution system operator that delivers AI-intelligent software responsible for operating and maintaining the distribution system as it pertains to utilities.

WHAT DO THEY OFFER AS A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATOR?

  • As a distribution system operator, Peak Power Systems offers its cutting-edge Building Insight Platform (BIP) that uses IoT to measure electricity consumption and HVAC operations in a building.
  • Peak Power Systems offers battery energy storage as a service (ESaaS) through its trademarked Synergy software. The software enables clients (commercial, industrial, and project developers) to lower a building's energy costs and optimize its operation.
  • Through its partnership with Google’s Sidewalk Labs, Peak developed the world’s largest transactive energy system called Energy Market Platform (EMP).
  • The Energy Market Platform follows a distributed model rather than a centralized model and allows the users of energy to produce, store, buy, and sell energy.

DO THEY OFFER ELECTRIC VEHICLE SUPPORT?

  • There's no evidence on Peak Power's website, web pages, and press publications that shows the company's relation to electric vehicle support.

OTHER CAPABILITIES OF PEAK POWER SYSTEMS:

  • Peak delivers "cutting-edge Building Insight Platform (BIP)" that uses IoT sensors to integrate into the buildings and measure the buildings' temperature and occupancy. The platform also forecasts building data and optimizes the operations of the facility.
  • Peak’s Synergy software helps to forecast Ontario's Global Adjustment (GA) events and optimize the operations of “behind-the-meter energy storage systems.” Every energy user in Ontario is required to pay a GA fee for about 40-60 % of their respective bills.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Advanced Transactive Energy Companies - GridPlus Capabilities

GridPlus is a retail electricity provider and not a distribution system operator. The company focuses on offering technology solutions in the energy market to make it more efficient and enable consumers to save more.

GRIDPLUS

  • GridPlus is not a distribution system operator. It is a retail electricity provider.
  • Also, the company focuses on creating products that facilitate the mainstream utilization of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
  • The company uses its technology to bring efficiencies to energy markets and enable consumers to save more money. GridPlus achieves this through the use of blockchain technologies, smart software, and hardware.
  • GridPlus does not offer electric vehicle support. Instead, it focuses on making retail energy increasingly efficient by focusing on intelligent energy consumption and incentivizing the green energy sector.

OTHER CAPABALITIES

  • The GridPlus Lattice1 is a cryptocurrency device that has a secure screen, enclave, and anti-tamper features. It enables people to transact with cryptocurrencies on automated systems for recurring payments such as electricity bills.
  • SafeCards offer high security for key storage. SafeCards provide cold storage that is integrated with Lattice1 through which a user can carry out transactions.
  • SafeCards are compatible with the Phonon Network. The network is an off-chain protocol that is used for transactions. Unlike blockchain, the network only needs two participants, which makes it similar to true digital cash.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the requested information, we started by looking at articles and products on GridPlus’ website to have a better understanding of the company. After a thorough review of the website, we found that GridPlus is a new generation retail electricity provider and not a distribution system operator. We also determined that the company does not provide electric vehicle support since it is a field that is outside its scope of services. Moreover, no information in relation to electric vehicle support could be found in the company website.

A look at media platforms such as TechCrunch, Businesswire, and Forbes did not yield any relevant results in regard to GridPlus offering electric vehicle support. Instead, the sources focused on the company's offerings. Also, we looked at technology conferences such as DevCon4, ETHDenver, and Texas Bitcoin Conference but to no avail. Instead, these events focused on GridPlus products and services. For these reasons, we made the assumption that GridPlus does not provide electric vehicle support. Therefore, we provided information on GridPlus, its offerings, and other capabilities they have as a company in the findings section.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "The distributed system operator is granted access to consumer data like building management systems. Using price as a proxy, the DSO manages energy use, load balancing, and demand response at negotiated rates."
  • "When a charging station—public or private—or an electric vehicle has a surplus of energy, it is made available for purchase on the local network. Consumers can set budgets and be alerted to the availability via mobile app."
Quotes
  • "Until others begin developing on Exergy, LO3 Energy has developed a ‘white label’ mobile app soon to be available globally to third parties who can use it to set up microgrids and access the services of the Exergy platform, including establishing market participants and marketplace rules. "
Quotes
  • "In a more advanced application of this use case, which both enhances and expands beyond the local energy microgrid, the token-enabled EV charging network supports a proactively aggregated and managed charging service that can take advantage of the inherent flexibility of the EV load profile."
  • "The full evolution in this use case leads inevitably to bidirectional power flow for full V2G operation, and could therefore ultimately connect common transactive energy value streams with energy retail and wholesale segments. The engagement of many non-traditional participants into the token system value chain is also likely."
Quotes
  • "LO3 Energy Australia Director Belinda Kinkead said farmers buying electricity under the microgrid could save up to 12 per cent off their power bill — more than $2,800, based on those figures."
Quotes
  • "joint project to test the feasibility of a blockchain-managed virtual power plant (VPP) utilizing a peer-to-peer* distributed consensus network. The test will start Feb. 28, 2019 at Kyocera’s Yokohama Nakayama Office in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, where a small VPP will be installed using the company’s solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and batteries. The energy will be controlled through LO3 Energy’s distributed ledger technology to log and manage energy flow. LO3’s blockchain technology is used for verifying and recording transactions, enabling consumer “sharing” of energy they produce with their own solar panels via a microgrid, which can reduce the burden on the larger energy grid."
Quotes
  • "An initial project will connect the JuiceNet EV charging platform to one of LO3’s transactive energy marketplaces, activating local renewable energy to be traded between the microgrid and electric vehicle owners. LO3’s Exergy™ platform underpins the data exchange that enables price signals and peer-to-peer transactions while the eMotorWerks JuiceNet platform enables control over local energy flows, matching in real time and in small groups the local demand from EVs and households with the local supply of green, affordable energy."