Rakesh Sharma, Energy Central
Brooklyn Microgrid, a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy trading system, has been approved to conduct a 12-month pilot program for energy trading on its platform, according to Adrienne Smith, executive director of the project. The pilot will begin in the early part of 2020 and forty prosumers and 200 consumers are participating in it, she said. Consumers will be able to bid for excess energy retailed on the market by prosumers using the app. Smith said the marketplace for energy trading on the platform will be an open one and the organization does not intend to set a minimum floor to the trading price. That said, she hopes that prosumers will be able to profitably sell excess energy to other consumers, instead of selling it back to the utility at net metering rates. “This (the pilot project) will help us determine whether it is possible,” she said, alluding to the profitability question for prosumers.
Per existing state regulation, only electric utilities and approved retail services are allowed to sell energy. Brooklyn Microgrid had petitioned the state to create a regulatory sandbox to test their project. About a dozen officials and community members from the project met with representatives of Governor Cuomo’s administration on Nov. 22nd to discuss the project’s benefits.
“We hope we can prove that DERs are a viable, actionable, and scalable solution for Governor Cuomo to achieve his REV goals,” said Smith. The Reforming Energy Vision (REV) initiative, unveiled earlier this year, envisages sourcing as much as 50 percent of New York State’s energy requirements from renewable energy. Brooklyn ranks third, behind Queens and Staten Island, in the number of residential solar panel installations within New York City.