Machine learning startup Verv, currently conducting an Initial Token Offering, has executed the UK’s first physical trade of energy on the blockchain at Hackney’s Banister House Estate, using its renewable energy trading platform.
The aim of the trial, currently underway in collaboration with Repowering London, is to enable residents to benefit from local renewable energy sources and bring down their energy bills, with a view to working towards creating a fully empowered, almost self-sustaining community.
The trial, which has been shortlisted for the Ofgem Regulatory Sandbox and has received a significant grant from Innovate UK, is currently in phase 1, with the first trade having taken place in the community on Wednesday afternoon through Verv’s energy trading platform.
The trade took place on the pioneering Hackney Banister House Estate which has solar panels installed on 13 of the blocks of flats that make up the community. With the addition of artificial intelligence-based Verv smart hubs in participating residents’ flats, and Powervault batteries in communal areas, the platform is able to calculate the energy demand profile of homes, determine the solar energy supply in each storage battery and in turn allocate green power to residents based on their needs.
The first trade saw 1kWh of energy being sent from an array of solar panels with excess energy on one of the block’s roofs, to a resident residing in another block within the estate.
Speaking of the trial, Roger who is a Banister House community member said, “Until now, we have been unable to take advantage of the solar panels on the roofs to power our homes due to the structure of the UK electricity market.
He added, “With the installation of Verv smart hubs, we are being empowered to generate, store and trade our own community energy and I’m really excited to see how this trial evolves! It’s safe to say energy costs are very high and it’s important, more now than ever, that solutions be sought.”
The reduction in energy bills is expected to be even more significant considering a lot of the residents are on pre-pay meters which are still one of the most expensive ways to pay for energy.
Erwin, another community member and participant, also expressed his support for the trial, "I am delighted to be involved in this exciting project. I hope it is the first step to ensuring that the whole estate can benefit from cheaper energy bills in future!"
CEO & Founder of Verv Peter Davies explained, “We’re so pleased to be bringing the Verv renewable energy trading platform to life on Hackney’s Banister House Estate, we want to use this technology to empower the residents to innovate and create their own trading community. We plan to use the results of this trial to roll out more energy trading communities across the UK and in turn globally.”
Agamemnon Otero Co-CEO & Co-Founder of Repowering London added, “Over the past 7 years we have built community energy in the UK; from the first inner city community energy projects on social housing to driving policy. The Shangri-La of Community Energy is to enable smart, easy, access to energy for its members. We are proud not only to be working on this but that we can place this leading technology trial into the urban homes and hearts of those most in need of it.”
The first trade follows the launch of Verv’s VLUX (VLX) token, created by the company in order to enable access to their blockchain-based trading system as it looks to accelerate its growth and take its platform to the next functional level. The pre-sale for VLUX is now open.