SolarBlock platform to facilitate energy transactions, streamline accounting and billing for community solar developers and energy consumers.
LOS ANGELES, California, Sept. 26, 2018
The 2nd cohort of the California Clean Energy Fund’s California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) program was made official last Friday September 21st after the California Energy Commission approved the latest use of funds. Pick My Solar, along with 17 other companies were selected to bring their clean energy concept to market with a $150,000 grant. With the funding, Pick My Solar will develop a community solar platform to simplify every step of the customer management process, while also creating an energy exchange platform for participants to buy and sell energy.
The California Energy Commission approved nearly $2.7 million in grants for this year’s group of 18 innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring early-stage clean energy concepts to market. These projects were selected from a field of more than 400 applicants for CalSEED, which is the Energy Commission’s initiative to invest $24 million in grants over five years in novel solutions to energy challenges. “CalSEED is very excited to provide grant funding and support to Pick My Solar’s latest initiative in the solar market. We believe the platform has the potential to rapidly accelerate the deployment and adoption of solar and other distributed renewable energy resources.” said Jon Bonanno, CXO at California Clean Energy Fund.
Pick My Solar launched its award winning online solar marketplace in 2014 to streamline the process of going solar. Over the last four years, Pick My Solar has expanded its offerings to include products such as energy storage, assistance in getting affordable solar loans, and recently a dedicated platform for community solar (also known as Shared Solar) in ConEdison territory in New York. Through this new community solar marketplace, apartment owners and, renters can also benefit from solar energy by buying into a large solar farm nearby. This award will help Pick My Solar’s community solar team to create a solution specifically designed for California’s energy market by using a blockchain-based technology.
“Our mission at Pick My Solar is empowering communities to adopt sustainable technologies through transparency and choice. The only way we can accomplish our mission is by staying on the cutting edge, identifying opportunities and innovating. “ said Max Aram, CEO of Pick My Solar, “This bold idea was the brainchild of a small team within our organization tasked with increasing community solar proliferation to democratize the energy market. We’re thrilled to have CalSEED supporting us as we bring this idea to market.”
The community solar platform, called SolarBlock, is a web portal where developers will be able to list their projects, enroll and communicate with customers, transact energy, and credit solar energy production to customers through a blockchain-based distributed ledger, reducing transaction costs while improving billing reliability and accuracy. “SolarBlock supports community solar developers by both streamlining the accounting and billing process and allowing them to sell energy from unsubscribed portions of the array on SolarBlock’s energy marketplace.” said SolarBlock’s project lead, Gordon Algermissen. “The platform will also provide low income and disadvantaged residents with access to low cost renewable energy which they did not previously have access to due to barriers like credit requirements, homeownership, and solar suitable roof space.”
Development of the SolarBlock platform is already underway. The team at Pick My Solar anticipates delivering an MVP in late 2019. For media inquiries related to SolarBlock, please contact gordon [at] pickmysolar.com.
About Pick My Solar
Pick My Solar is an online solar purchasing marketplace, providing home and business owners with expert advice and high quality custom bids from a national network of highly qualified solar installers. The overarching goal of Pick My Solar is to simplify the solar purchasing process, drive down costs, and provide the consumer advocacy necessary for solar to achieve broad market success. Pick My Solar has won several awards including the Kauffman Foundation’s Innovation Award, two U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Catalyst awards, is a member of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, was named the 2015 outstanding small business in the City of Los Angeles, and named 2016 SoCal Startup of the Year by Startup Grind.
About the California Clean Energy Fund
The California Clean Energy Fund has been accelerating clean energy innovation and startup ecosystems for more than a decade. Its vision is to create a 100%+ clean energy economy for the 100% by driving entrepreneurial innovation and building equity into the clean energy
economy. Since its founding in 2004, it has leveraged $1.5 billion, invested directly in more than 100 clean energy enterprises and launched industry leading solution centers.
CalSEED funding is made possible by the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program, which invests approximately $120 million annually for innovative clean energy technologies and approaches and that benefit the ratepayers of California’s three largest electric investor-owned utilities.