Blockchain for the Solar Energy Market

SIMBA Blockchain Platform Wins Federal Grant to Build Blockchain Solution for Solar Energy Market

PLYMOUTH, Ind., June 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SIMBA Chain in conjunction with ITAMCO and the University of Notre Dame has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Department of Energy to develop a potential platform for a blockchain solution for the solar energy market.

The Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) company was first formed with a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies to develop a secure and unhackable messaging and transaction platform for the U.S. military. Elevate Ventures has provided funding and ongoing support. A federal Small Business Innovation Research grant with the Center for Research Computing at University of Notre Dame also helped the company get established.

“Winning this second Blockchain SBIR grant shows that we’re developing competency using this platform,” said CEO Joel Neidig. “We’re excited to demonstrate how blockchain technology could help the solar energy industry.”

Because of how the solar energy industry has grown and changed, it’s difficult for utilities to plan for when they will receive or need to distribute power. Because of all the variables, the flow of solar power to the utility from those who create it on small systems isn’t predictable. Blockchain technology can help create a system for those creating power to sell it to the utility and for the utility to better plan. “This is trying to develop more of a marketplace to maximize the potential for all involved,” said Neidig.

Blockchain lets all the users keep a distributed ledger in the cloud and preserves anonymity and verification when needed. That transactive grid supports interactions between users, prosumers and energy stations.

Jay Bartlett, CEO of Wabash Valley Power Association, said, “We believe the approach proposed by SIMBA Chain is novel and innovative, specifically in the development and application of a secure blockchain technology for transparency, efficient processing, and the accurate recording of transactions of utility-scale renewable energy.” SIMBA Chain is also working with the Marshall County Rural Electric Membership Corp.

SIMBA Chain officials are meeting with power utilities and municipalities to gather information and build the architecture and proof of concept in phase I. “We believe we can develop this to win the $750,000 Phase II award for implementation and prototyping with energy providers and consumers,” Neidig said.

SIMBA has built a proof-of-concept app that lets you view accounts, manage consumption, and buy or sell energy all on a blockchain.