open solar microgrids
We are building an open source platform that leverages decentralization technology for disintermediation and contractual automation of financial processes to drive community-owned solar projects.
OpenSolar’s core technology seeks to streamline the flow of crowd-based funds (eg. bonds and equity) to finance the deployment of solar assets, allowing end-users to own these resources in a short time frame through regular utility-like payments driven by energy generation and consumption IoT data.
A partnership with the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.
Founded by Michael Casey —senior advisor to the DCI and renowned blockchain author, the community solar microgrid project is the DCI's core project in the use of smart contracts and token dynamics for solar technology. Thanks to the support of Tsai CITY, Martin Wainstein joined the project to lead the Yale and MIT research and deployment team in a thriving collaboration between two cutting edge organizations with a strong commitment to an open source culture and zero carbon future. Visit the DCI >
project focus: Puerto Rico
We are working towards an experimental deployment of a community-owned and operated transactive microgrid that uses the blockchain to manage peer-to-peer electricity trading. The deployment will be in a school and community in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, where the public electrical grid was obliterated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, exposing the vulnerability of its centralized framework. The point of the experiment is twofold: i) to provide a reliable source of affordable energy to regions that have no centralized option and, ii) to demonstrate the efficiencies, improved energy security and broader social gains to be extracted from “Energy Democracy,” a model in which smart meters, IoT-connected devices and blockchain technology enable a fluid, multiparty electricity marketplace. Given the financial woes of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which was beset by financial problems and a managerial crisis even before the hurricanes hit, it is expected that large swaths of the island will remain disconnected from the public grid for many months. Some may never be reconnected.
Our deployment considers key three layers every school should have:
clean and autonomous energy, internet access, and education technology
We are working on a 100% open-source platform providing a full-stack solution for financing microgrids; built through crowd collaboration. We are currently focusing on blockchain use-cases and interoperability to unlock trusted impact investments.
The project includes in-house developments at both the MiT MediaLab and the Yale Openlab, and on-site deployments in Puerto Rico, which acts as living labs to study the merits of blockchain technology in enabling community-owned energy economies.
A MODEL TO FINANCE SOLAR MICROGRIDS, TRIGGER VIRAL REPLICATION AND LOCAL ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
PUERTO RICO: from crisis to opportunity
Eight months after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, there are still hundreds of communities without power in the island.
Currently around 35% of the population still does not have energy and will continue to not have energy for the coming months due to general turmoil in the energy and political landscape.
We are working with a network of schools that have close ties to their surrounding communities, and strong commitment to be anchor points in microgrids that enable energy independence and economic development.
Introducing a more resilient and equitable energy paradigm for the island has never been more timely.
We are designing the minimum viable microgrid node using open-source hardware. We envision a user friendly toolkit to improve the user experience of the school and microgrid participants, increasing democratic access to education in energy and economic autonomy.