A community solar project is one where many members subscribe to a solar farm. The output of the solar farm is purchased by their utility, which credits the members of the solar project on their utility bills. This allows people who are renting, who live in multi-unit buildings, or who are temporary residents to gain the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy without entering into long-term contracts for installing solar panels at their homes.
In this MVP concept, we will build a Virtual Community Renewable Energy Network which is similar to a community solar project. It would allow multiple parties to share in a renewable energy project together through the purchase of tokenized Renewable Energy Certificates (REC's). The data would come from:
- Solar inverters – amount of electricity generated, if the project shared a solar farm
- Renewable Energy Certificates – purchased from renewable energy developers
- Utility bills – energy use by the members
A smart contract could obtain data for all members of the network from these data sources, then allocate the solar or REC's against each member's utility bills.
The REC's would be tokenized on a public blockchain ledger, while the utility bills would be placed on a permissioned Hyperledger Fabric utility emissions data channel. The REC's would follow standards such as those being developed by the Interwork Alliance.
The application would thus need to be able to interact with both public and permissioned ledgers. This would be done by holding keys to both ledgers in a common wallet, such as a Hardware Security Module (HSM) or Key Management Service (KMS).
An additional blockchain could be set up to manage members' subscriptions, so that new members could stake to join a network or purchase shares from exiting members. The exact mechanics would depend on the local regulations for community solar projects.