Perth, Western Australia – 17 November 2017 – Today the Australian government announced they will provide $2.57 million in funding for a cutting edge project in the City of Fremantle and $5.68 million will be funded through project partners. The project is trialling the use of blockchain-powered distributed energy and water systems and was the second largest recipient of the Grant, following behind the ‘Switching on Darwin’ project.
The project, which involves academic, infrastructure and technology partners, will assess how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to integrate distributed energy and water systems. The federal funding comes as part of the government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program which aims to solve practical problems. The project will also be supported by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.
The trial will involve highly resilient, low-carbon and low-cost systems installed and connected using blockchain technology. A large solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, rooftop solar PV panels, a precinct sized battery, an electric vehicle charge station and precinct water treatment and capture systems will be orchestrated using blockchain technology and data analytics and demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities.
Onsite energy generation at water treatment systems will also circumvent the need for costly distribution overhauls, as they are due for a $3million upgrade to increase capacity. The project will provide the community with financial and service sustainability while still engaging the private sector.
Phillip St John, CEO of the City of Fremantle, said: “We are delighted to host this project in the City of Fremantle. This collaboration between existing infrastructure, renewable energy and innovative technology fits with our One Planet zero carbon energy target and will help us to secure the ongoing sustainability of essential services for communities that live here.”
Curtin University has responsibility for project management duties and will carry out the research underpinning the project.
Professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University said: “We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location.”
Murdoch University will provide research support on alternative district water supply and storage schemes that will be used to provide water, capacity and ancillary services to each other and the grid.
Martin Anda, Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering, said: “This news is very exciting as we now have the opportunity to develop an entirely new precinct scale urban water system in Fremantle that will harmonise with the innovative Power Ledger Platform.”
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