Blockchain set to deliver savings in Australian carbon neutral apartments

Image: OP Properties

Australian blockchain company Power Ledger is partnering with developer OP Properties to enable its energy trading platform in a new Freemantle apartment complex.

The project, another first for the blockchain pioneer, will enable residents to gain a 50% saving on their annual strata levies, i.e. the levies for maintaining the common areas of the development.

The 39 apartment development near the centre of Freemantle will have 75kW solar rooftop PV and 670kWh on-site battery storage. This will be topped up with 100% green electricity from the grid through local retailer Change Energy.

Related articles:
Power Ledger and BCPG to create a blockchain REC marketplace in Thailand
ABB opens first carbon-neutral factory in the world
Lessons learned in decentralised energy trading

Apartment owners with excess solar electricity will be able to sell it to the on-site battery using Power Ledger’s energy trading platform. During times of peak demand, they can then buy back electricity from the battery at an agreed price.

“This is the first time we’ve seen such a progressive model being implemented in an apartment building,” said Power Ledger co-founder and Executive Chairman Dr Jemma Green. “The development shows what’s possible in residential energy trading when developers commit to renewable energy as part of their early planning.”

OP Properties will cover the cost of the solar PV. The system will then form part of the common property under the ownership of the strata management company, rather than individual apartment owners.

“Typically the only people who benefit from solar on apartment buildings are those who are home during the day, so it’s never provided a sufficient incentive to drive large-scale investment in sustainable technologies,” says Luke Parker, co-founder of OP Properties.

“The holy grail of being carbon neutral and delivering a 50% strata offset is a game-changer in terms of showing how low carbon design outcomes can be used to create financial benefits for apartment owners globally.”

The complex, Montreal Commons, is believed to be among the first carbon neutral apartment buildings in Australia.

The precinct in which Montreal Commons is situated is considered to have become a showcase for energy efficient residential development. The first stage features a microgrid supply network for water and power that also connects to the on-site battery. As part of this first stage, Power Ledger’s platform will be used to share locally generated rooftop solar energy between 36 planned townhouses.