Brooklyn Microgrid is in business, with rooftop solar panels deployed along with an energy trading platform to circulate the green energy among 50 participants.
The New York Times reports, "the idea is to create a kind of virtual, peer-to-peer energy trading system built on blockchain, the database technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin."
This is but one innovative example of how New York is shaking up its electricity business through sweeping regulatory reforms known as New York REV, or Reforming the Energy Vision.
The Brooklyn Microgrid is weaving together solar power and energy storage in a revolutionary way, said Audrey Zibelman, formerly a top regulator in New York and REV architect.
"It takes a central procurer — in this case, historically, the utility — out of the mix and really sets the market where they’re not buying and selling to the utility but they’re identifying each other’s need and willingness to buy and sell,” Zibelman said.
LO3 Energy is building the digitally-enabled Brooklyn Microgrid with Siemens.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The future of renewables and its impact on utilities and the electric system will be explored at the Renewables Rush executive energy conference in San Francisco on April 5.