On Monday, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Grid7 LLC, a blockchain company based in Boulder, Colorado, will receive a nearly $1 million grant to further develop an energy project titled "E-Blockchain: A Scalable Platform for Secure Energy Transactions and Control." The grant is to be used over a two-year period. According to information submitted to the DOE's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the Grid7 team hopes to use blockchain technology to tackle cybersecurity issues in power plant control systems, industrial control systems, and cyber-physical systems. The project will also include the development of a more decentralized energy system and the improvement of grid reliability.
Grid7's project is part of the second phase of the DOE's SBIR and STTR programs. Small businesses from the first phase, which focused on technical feasibility, go on to compete for phase two funding, which is used to develop prototypes or processes. During phase one, the Colorado startup was granted nearly $150,000.
The DOE says that small businesses are major players when it comes to innovation and job creation in the US economy. Blockchain startups can certainly fall into this realm.
The alternative energy market has seen its fair share of blockchain advancements. In January, the DOE announced its collaboration with blockchain provider BlockCypher to create a peer-to-peer energy trading system. In June, Silicon Valley Power, which is based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled its partnership with Australian blockchain company Power Ledger to simplify the process of tracking and earning California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits. And abroad, in April, the United Nations Development Programme revealed its blockchain-related pilot to test a solar investment system in Moldova.