Applications and Use Cases

Utility Company Amaren Looking at Blockchain to Support More Efficient and Reliable Grid Model


March 29, 2019

Utility company Amaren Corporation, which serves 2.4 million electric customers and another 900,000 natural gas customers in Missouri and Illinois, is looking to use blockchain technology as part of its clean energy initiative.  Working with engineering firm Opus One Solutions, Amaren is evaluating distributed ledgers systems as a part of its testing of its transactive energy marketplace (TEM). 

Transitive energy systems are intended to increase the reliability and security of power system while increasing their efficiency by leveraging data from many distributed energy sources (DERs).  The concept is a dramatic shift from traditional centralized energy control models and can change the supply and demand paradigm by creating new operational and economic models.  Blockchain can help power these new initiatives by securely verifying transactions between different power sources, allowing them to interoperate and deliver greater grid efficiency. 

 “Identifying the value local distributed energy resources (DER) can provide to our distribution system and the customers it serves, helps inform how and where customers should invest in clean renewable power,” said Ron Pate, Senior Vice President of Operations and Technical Services with Ameren Illinois. “Transactive energy markets will ensure that distributed energy resources are compensated appropriately, for the services that they provide.”

Transactive energy systems based on decentralized platforms have a several potential benefits to utilities and the communities they serve:

  • Better infrastructure utilization
  • Increased grid resiliency and reliability
  • Greater choice for customers
  • More use of renewable energy sources
  • Better tools for consumption management

While Amaren hasn’t specifically indicated how it plans to use blockchain, a transactive energy system is based on interactions between distributed energy nodes – not a traditional grid hierarchy – requiring multiple nodes to interact securely to exchange energy information and create transactions for delivering power with maximum efficiency.  Distribute ledger technology is inherently well-suited for such an effort.

The 2020 edition of The Blockchain Event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, will look closely at how blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be and is already being used in different business sectors.  A growing number of enterprises are developing blockchain solutions to create new and better business models – these developments will be the focus of The Blockchain Event.  If you are interested in sharing your expertise on how blockchain is bringing new opportunities to businesses, the call for papers for the event is currently open.


 




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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