Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading company UrbanChain has welcomed a housing association into its alternative energy market for the first time.
This will allow 500 bungalows, two and three-bedroom terraces and semi-detached houses in Lancashire and Yorkshire owned by the Together Housing Association (THA) to buy and sell green energy amongst themselves and others in the P2P market.
It follows a £2 million pilot programme funded by THA and the European Regional Development Fund, which saw 250 homes fitted with solar PV and battery storage systems in 2019.
“Housing Associations are in the best place to help our objective of alleviating fuel poverty so we are delighted to be working with THA and to also provide innovative services for those who need it first,” said Dr. Somayeh Taheri, CEO of UrbanChain.
“Using UrbanChain’s AI system and blockchain technology we can decouple renewable energy from the wholesale market and link them directly to the customer, enabling automated P2P exchange between them. We can do this as our AI system handles the intermittent behaviour of energy generators along with data challenges faced from the demand side.”
UrbanChain was set up in 2017, building on PhD research into the energy market. It is now based in Manchester Science Park’s Greenheys Building, and has been building out its client base to include local authorities, commercial property, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and leisure.
In September, it partnered two hotels to provide them with a direct energy exchange from West Suffolk Council’s renewable generators.
Earlier this year, UrbanChain also teamed up with demand side management company GridDuck and West Suffolk Council for an innovative energy trading project at Milden Hall Industrial Park.
There are already plans in place to onboard further THA homes into the P2P market, following the implementation of the initial 500.
“We have ambitious plans at Together Housing to install solar PV and battery systems on our homes,” said Patrick Berry, director at Together Net Zero.
“Working with UrbanChain in the P2P market provides an exciting opportunity to reduce power costs for our tenants while also securing a sustainable income from our renewable assets.”
Last year, Current± caught up with Taheri and UrbanChain’s CCO Mo Hajhashem to discuss the benefits of a P2P market and how the blockchain infrastructure that underpins it works.