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Blockchain Applications in Energy: Lessons Learned From the Puerto Rico Project

  • Pepper Hamilton High Street Tower, 19th Floor Boston, MA, 02110 United States (map)

About this Event

Please join Daniel R. Sieck of Pepper Hamilton LLP for a “fireside chat” with leading thinkers in the energy blockchain space to discuss opportunities for blockchain entrepreneurs and investors in 2019 and beyond. The event will feature a panel discussion followed by audience questions and will be preceded by an informal networking reception. Attendees will leave the session with a greater understanding of the successes and failures of the Puerto Rico Project, the realities of transactive microgrids, and the role of blockchain technology in facilitating disintermediated financing solutions for renewable energy projects.

In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria left hundreds of communities in Puerto Rico without power for months. To address this problem, members of the panel, together with students from MIT and Yale, conceived of and deployed an experimental, community-owned and operated transactive microgrid that uses blockchain technology to manage peer-to-peer electricity trading. The point of the experiment was twofold: to provide a reliable source of affordable energy to regions that have no centralized option and to demonstrate the efficiencies, improved energy security and broader social gains to be extracted from “Energy Democracy,” a model in which smart meters, IoT-connected devices and blockchain technology enable a fluid, multiparty electricity marketplace. A year and half later, the microgrid is still operational.

In addition to serving as a proof of concept for transactive microgrids, the Puerto Rico Project also demonstrated the possible ways that blockchain technology can facilitate a more streamlined process of project finance for renewable energy projects. The panel will address each of these topics as well as some of the other lessons that they learned from the project.

6:00 - 7:00 PM | Networking
7:00 - 8:30 PM | Program

Michael Casey, Senior Advisor - Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab 

Martin Wainstein, Professor, Yale University 
Erick Pinos, President and CEO, Blockchain Education Network
Others, TBD