The United States Department of Energy’s Office of Science is partnering with two universities, a software firm, and energy company ComEd to develop an “energy internet” using blockchain technology. The DOE has provided the four organizations with a grant of $1,05 million to fund the project, according to a ComEd press release published on Friday, August 9.
The four organizations involved in the project include ComEd, Virginia Tech, the University of Denver, and the software firm BEM Controls. The developers will use the DOE grant to “commercialize a blockchain-based transactive energy platform developed by BEM Controls.” According to the press release:
The BEM Controls software incorporates time-based energy management and control of interior spaces in buildings to achieve greater energy efficiency, reliability and resiliency. ComEd will use its Grid of the Future Lab to demonstrate the functionality of the system, which will be developed over three years.
University of Denver Electrical and Computer Engineering Department chairman Amin Khodaei claims that it’s the right time to create technologies that can “make a more sustainable and resilient future possible,” and noted that the rise of “distributed energy resources” requires more advanced management tools that enable peer-to-peer interaction in a fast, secure, and scalable way.
ComEd president and COO Terry Donnelly emphasized the project’s importance:
“Energy management technology has the potential to make a very positive impact on the environments in which we live and work. ComEd’s Grid of the Future lab will play an important role in advancing the science in this field and support our efforts to deliver a premier customer experience.”