South Korea’s government will spend $3.5 million USD to set up a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP) in the city of Busan. The definition of 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 goal of the VPP project is to aggregate Busan-area power sources from factories and public facilities of energy storage system (ESS), as well as solar power plants. Busan, which is South Korea’s second largest city, announced the decision to build the VPP based on a citizens-shared blockchain since it believes it a project that can support an innovative energy industry in the region.
The city of Busan and various partner companies and institutions have developed the project. These include Pusan National University (PNU), energy management firm Nuri Telecom, Busan City Gas, and real estate firm Korea Industrial Complex Corporation. Based upon the design and development parameters of the project, it will be presented at a national competition in 2019 hosted by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the largest electric utility company in South Korea
The city of Busan has been actively developing and promoting blockchain technology and the VPP project is the city’s latest imitative. Earlier this year, Yoo Jae-soo, Minister of Economic Affairs for Busan city and the former director general for financial policy at the Financial Services Commission (FSC), hosted 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 revealed plans to establish a blockchain center in Busan modeled on Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. According to the plan, the blockchain center will be located in the Haeundae section of Busan, an area in eastern Busan known for being a hip beachfront area that appeals to both locals and tourists.