People, formerly known as ratepayers
Over the past two years, Brooklyn Microgrid (BMG) integrated emergent technologies and solutions such as Blockchain and applied them to energy and community solar initiatives. One of the driving forces behind BMG was always to give people control over the type of energy they want to support. For an energy revolution to take place, people need a 21st-century tool that will allow them easily to choose their energy preferences.
When we ask ourselves, what are some real-world actions individuals can take to revolutionize the way a community thinks about, produces, pays for and uses energy sustainably? Rarely do we imagine these questions as being an opportunity for a diversity of people to engage in a collaborative discussion, cross-pollinate ideas, and explore emergent technologies that would engage and empower people to channel ideas into action.
Brooklyn Microgrid conducted its first successful peer-to-peer energy transaction back in Spring of 2016 between two President street neighbors in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Neighbor-A produced an excess amount of green electrons with his solar panels and gave Neighbor-B the opportunity to purchase some of his local green energy at a mutually attractive rate across a blockchain secured network. This exchange was a major benchmark for Brooklyn Microgrid.
The first peer-to-peer energy transaction launched a grassroots effort to connect with hundreds of other like-minded Brooklynite prosumers and consumers to participate in this campaign, which aimed to accelerate the innovation and regulatory changes needed –for peer-to-peer transactive markets.
The newly released Brooklyn Microgrid App aims to empower Participants – people – formerly known as ratepayers, to vote with their dollars for the kind of energy they prefer to consume. For example, if a participant prefers to keep their money in the community, then choosing to buy locally generated green energy from their community’s green energy pool is a step in the direction of boosting a local circular economy for renewable energy.
The Brooklyn Microgrid App is a tool that gives people the power to decide what kind of role they want to play in their community’s energy revolution. Whether it’s voting on potential sites for solar community projects, making micro-investments in resiliency projects or neighbors selling excess renewable energy to neighbors; with a simple swipe of a finger, an entire community can send a price signal that strengthens hyperlocal markets in people’s favor.
Early Adopters are encouraged to begin building their community’s microgrid. Get started now by downloading the Brooklyn Microgrid App here.