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LO3 Energy scores investments from Shell, Sumitomo

posted onJuly 11, 2019

LO3 Energy, a New York-based startup which has built a blockchain platform to track energy from different sources has raised funds from oil major Shell and Japanese industrial giant Sumitomo Corporation Group. 

As per an announcement, the investment from the two corporate heavyweights will allow LO3 to scale its blockchain-based community energy networks worldwide. 

“Energy is going through a revolution with renewable distributed energy resources increasingly picking up market share – but to integrate them efficiently we need to re-invent our energy networks” LO3 Energy founder and CEO Lawrence Orsini said in a statement. 

“These investments will help us accelerate the roll-out of less carbon intensive microgrids, which help all stakeholders benefit through distributed, decentralized and decarbonized local energy transactions and demand response energy management on a building-by-building level” Orsini-who has more than ten years of experience in all aspects of commercial energy efficiency programs-added.

LO3 Energy's system, a blockchain-based transactive energy platform, enables users to set preferences on a mobile app letting them choose from different local energy resources and
further allowing them to select a specific supplier. 

The system has a wide range of business use cases including peer-to-peer energy trading, energy hedging, virtual power plant operation, dynamic electric vehicle charging and demand response services.

LO3 Energy logo

Commenting on the investment Kirk Coburn, Investment Director at Shell Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell plc said:

“As we move into a less carbonized future, Shell aims to invest in innovative companies that will help enable the energy transition. LO3 Energy fits right in that space.” 

Continuing Shell’s tradition in venture capital since 1998, Shell Venture’s investment focus includes oil & gas technologies, renewable energy technologies and digital technologies.

For his part, Norihiko Nonaka, Executive Officer of Sumitomo Corporation, stated: “Under drastic change and innovation in the power sector, especially rapid penetration of decentralized renewable energy, we have the intention to expand our business in the new field created by LO3 Energy"

“We will work together and support LO3 Energy’s further growth, which can realize a clean, environmentally sound community” he added.

Sumitomo is a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company with 11 locations in 66 countries, regions and 22 locations in Japan. The entire SC Group consists of more than 900 companies.  

LO3 has previously secured backing from New York-based energy VC firm  Braemar Energy Ventures, British multinational energy company Centrica and German multinational conglomerate Siemens. 

lo3 energy

(A Brooklyn microgrid prosumer, a consumer who generates renewable energy locally Photo: Brooklyn Microgrid)

The latter teamed up with LO3 and Consensys in 2017 to create Brooklyn Microgrid, the world’s first peer-to-peer electricity trading project. Brooklyn residents with solar panels can sell excess energy back to their neighbours, in a peer-to-peer transaction using a secure blockchain platform.

More and more companies team up to see distributed ledger technology integrated into the energy and other sectors.

Canada's Alectra Utilities inked a deal with interbank network Interac to use blockchain to offer monetizable incentives to people who use renewable energy. Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Nambu Electrica Power and Korean Southern Power Co have partnered to build a blockchain-based system for transacting renewable energy certificates.

Nestle will use blockchain to gather supply chain data, the World Bee Project (WBP)  is expanding its partnership with Oracle to use blockchain technology to track the honey supply chain.  Maersk, MSC and CMA GCM, the three largest cargo shipment companies, are all using a single blockchain ledger to track vessels.

Will blockchain fix all our problems?