Energy industry heavyweights have come together to work on bringing a decentralized energy trading platform to market.

UK-based energy blockchain company Electron announced on Friday that is has established a nine-firm consortium aimed at commercializing its software, which is planned to facilitate the trading of balancing power and other grid-quality products.   

The software platform has already been developed, having received funding in September from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.

In the development stage, the project was supported by Siemens on technical implementation and National Grid on market design. Both firms will continue to participate going forward.

In addition, Electron has now added supporters Baringa, EDF Energy, Flexitricity, Kiwi Power, Northern Powergrid, Open Energi, Shell, Statkraft and UK Power Networks.

The consortium will aim to identify how best to commercialize the platform through “incorporating the specialist knowledge and know-how of a diverse collection of stakeholders”, Electron said.

The firm describes its platform as a common trading venue for all demand-side response actions, and says it will enable collaborative trading in the current hierarchical system as well as peer-to-peer and micro-grid trading.

Paul Massara, the former head of RWE npower, joined Electron’s board in April 2017 in a move that was widely seen as a testament to the energy sector’s growing recognition of the opportunities represented by blockchain.

Paul Ellis, Electron’s cofounder and CEO, said the project partners “recognize the current system needs to be changed and we are designing a system for present and future market participants.”

Chris Regan, head of business development at EDF Energy, added: “Our approach for customers is about extracting the maximum value for every kilowatt of their flexibility.  This lowers the overall cost of balancing the systems, thus reducing the overall costs to UK consumers. We are excited to be at the centre of this new paradigm, partnering new entrants and setting the direction of a decentralized flexibility market.”

And Dale Geach, technology and innovation manager with Siemens, said: “Seeking to solve the inherent issues of collaborative trading between multiple customers will unlock real value for stakeholders in the energy system and facilitate a much needed and efficient route to market for Distributed Energy Resources offering Demand Side Response services. We are excited to be supporting this project and exploring the potential impacts and benefits of decentralized electricity flexibility markets.”