Trial of peer-to-peer energy trading system to start in Auckland in December

Vector Group chief executive Simon Mackenzie

Vector CEO Simon Mackenzie on peer-to-peer trading and new technologies.

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Power distributor Vector [NZX: VCT] has signed a deal with West Australian energy company Power Ledger to use its peer-to-peer platform to enable people and business to buy or sell surplus electricity to each other.

The system enables an individual who has solar power or batteries to sell any surplus energy they generate to someone else, bypassing the traditional electricity retailer.

A trial is to get under way in December this year involving 500 sites in New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland. Schools, community groups, and households will be involved, Vector said in a statement.

Chief Executive Simon MacKenzie said the new system would empower consumers "to better manage and profit from their energy supply and demand."

Power Ledger is a Perth-based start-up and uses the Blockchain software that underpins the digital currency, Bitcoin, in order to identify who has generated the energy and therefore who owns it. An eight-week trial involving 10 households in Busselton, south of Perth got underway this month, with talks underway on a more advanced trial in the city to follow next year.

The company's co-founder, Jemma Green said the technology would "enable the safe, sustainable and sensible trading of energy between producers and consumers."

Households with solar panels currently sell surplus energy back to the grid, although last month the Electricity Authority ruled that electricity company Unison had not broken the rules when it raised lines charges for homes who had installed a solar panel system. In April, lines company Eastland Group said it was considering doing the same.


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Interesting concept - would it work for electricity generated by a windfarm just outside Palmy that Vector has a significant minority stake in?

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Vector should never have got into it. It was a major mistake on their part.

It struggles to raise enough revenue to pay its operation and maintenance costs.

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The article doesn't make it clear if they are trading the energy value (i.e. the spot price equivalent) of the solar power or there is some fiddle that enables the consumer to avoid Transpower charges and Vector's line charges.

At the moment, the spot price is about 30% of the total bill. The most solid power be available for explore in the summertime the prices might be even lower.

If Vector had any real interest in looking after the welfare of its consumers, it would be making much better use of it's rundown ripple control system and, for consumers that do not have ripple control, installing smart thermostats on the water heaters that will control peak demand and do much more.

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"At the moment, the spot price is about 30% of the total bill. The most solid power be available for explore in the summertime the prices might be even lower"

Should have read: "the most solar power is available for export in the summertime when the prices are likely to be even lower."

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This means of trading power makes sense for about 1 month each year. When it is hot enough for air conditioning to make daytime demand similar to the evening peak demand.

But the reason we are even in this situation is due to Labor and the greens giving govt subsidies to air conditioning systems (heatpumps).

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Best thing is to import a couple of Tesla Power walls, add solar and get totally off grid, cost around 25k nzd

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