One of Australia's largest utility providers is working with blockchain startup Power Ledger to test a new energy trading platform.
Origin Energy works in a number of energy fields, including power plant operation, natural gas processing and both commercial and domestic power delivery. As such, the project will see the company using the trial platform to connect customers who want to either buy or sell excess energy, with blockchain creating an immutable record of where energy is being allocated.
With the trial, Origin becomes the latest utility firm to examine the tech's potential in the sector. Major industry companies including BP, Wien Energie and Sweden's Vattenfall have embarked on efforts of their own in recent months, positioning those projects as ways to explore new ways of doing business.
Tony Lucas, an executive general manager for Origin, struck a similar tone in a statement, saying:
"While it's still fairly early days for this technology, we are keen to explore the potential benefits that peer-to-peer energy trading could offer our customers. Power Ledger is one of a number of emerging technologies we're currently exploring, which we believe could help us meet the changing needs of our customers."
The trial will run from next month to the end of the year, and will use anonymized customer information while Power Ledger's platform is put through its paces.
The companies said they will look at the "regulatory and technical implications" of the system, in addition to monitoring how consumers actually use it, according to Lucas.
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