Solar panels. Batteries. Emergency fossil fuel-fired generators. They’ve all been deployed across Puerto Rico to help get the lights back on in the months following devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Now it’s blockchain’s turn.
Australian blockchain technology provider Power Ledger has its eyes set on the island, where power was wiped out by Irma and Maria last year. The company has hired Dante Disparte, a grid resiliency and security expert from Puerto Rico, to lead its efforts in the U.S. territory, said Jemma Green, co-founder and chair of the firm.
Power Ledger is working with factories and regulators to help companies on the island finance so-called microgrid resources such as solar panels and battery storage. It will then use its blockchain technology to allow the companies to trade power from those resources with one another, and to sell supplies to their employees or local communities. Through this exchange, people will be able to buy power in cash, cryptocurrency or — if a company wants it — labor.
“The next hurricane season is but three weeks away and the grid is not reliable — that is part of the urgency,” said Disparte, who is also chief executive officer of advisory firm Risk Cooperative.