Major South Korean City to Build Blockchain-Enabled Virtual Power Plant
South Korea’s government will spend 4 billion Korean won (KRW) (about $3.5 million) to set up a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP) in the city of Busan. The development was reported by South Korean newspaper Yonhap News Agency on Monday, Dec. 10.
Busan, South Korea’s second most populous city after Seoul, has announced that the city administration has selected a project to support an innovative energy industry in the region by building a VPP based on a citizens-shared blockchain.
The project will reportedly be represented at a national competition in 2019 hosted by the largest electric utility in South Korea, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
By its definition, a virtual power plant is a cloud-based distributed power plant that integrates the idle capacities of multiple energy resources in order to optimize power generation.
The recently announced blockchain-powered VPP project is set to aggregate such power sources as Busan-area factories and public facilities of energy storage system (ESS), as well as solar power plants.
The project was reportedly proposed by the city of Busan, as well as major local companies and institutions including Pusan National University (PNU), energy management firm Nuri Telecom, Busan City Gas, and real estate firm Korea Industrial Complex Corporation.
The city of Busan has already been actively developing and promoting blockchain technology, according to Korean crypto-focused news agency TokenPost.
Earlier this year, Yoo Jae-soo, the minister of economic affairs in Busan and former director general for financial policy at the Financial Services Commission (FSC), reportedly held a meeting to discuss the establishment of a special zone in the city in order to build a friendly environment for the development of the blockchain and crypto industry.
In June of this year, a South Korean governmental agency — the Industry-SW ICT Convergence Association (WICA) — also revealed plans to establish a blockchain center in Busan modeled on Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. According to the plan, the South Korean version of Zug’s Crypto Valley is set to be located at Haeundae, an affluent and touristic beachfront space in eastern Busan.
Earlier today, the country’s second-biggest commercial bank, Shinhan Bank, launched a blockchain-based initiative within the internal processes of the institution in order to reduce the number of human errors in record keeping.