WePower focused the data of the Estonian network for a year, marking the world's first for energyblockchaintechnology.
The Lithuanian company said that a pilot who puts all consumption and production data from the Estonian transmission system operator Elering on the blockchain is part of "a revolutionary collaboration" between the two organizations.
The hourly data of 700,000 households were aggregated by postal code, now, to reduce it to manageable size, based on a technical report on the project.
According to WePower, its Ethereum-based blockchain architecture would need at least 15 seconds to write each block of 200 data points.
This meant that Estonia's raw data, comprising over 6 trillion articles, would have taken 14 years and around 210 million EUR (239 million USD) to be invested in blockchain, according to WePower.
In the end, WePower charged 26,000 hours and 24 terawatt hours of aggregated production and consumption data on blockchain, transforming it into 39 billion smart energy tokens.
Each token is essentially an energy purchase contract that automatically settles for one kilowatt hour of energy. Tokens are tradable and can be sold in the local energy market by linking digital contracts with the grid data on the blockchain.
It is said that the pilot was the largest of its kind in the world.
"Projects of this magnitude and scope have not been tried before, partly because of the complexity, but also because the energy data is extremely sensitive," said Kaspar Kaarlep, WePower's technology manager, in a press release.
"The project will deepen our understanding of blockchain as a means of sharing data, paving the way for much-needed innovation in the energy sector," he said.
Estonia has been the leading candidate for energy tokenisation because it has 100 percent coverage of smart meters, says WePower. In addition, Elering maintains its smart meter data on a single platform called Estfeed, which is able to provide hourly production updates to WePower.
The pilot was an important test for Ethereum, the preferred blockchain technology for energy applications today. WePower was able to demonstrate that Ethereum could handle contracts with multi-year terms.
Elsewhere, however, WePower clashed with blockchain deficiencies as a means of energy trading.
For example, to avoid paying excessive fees to Ethereum for the blockchain platform, WePower was forced to accept delays in transaction times during periods of high mining demand.
As a result, almost 28 percent of transactions took more than 10 minutes and nearly 9 percent required more than one hour.
The balance between time to confirm costs and transactions "must be considered continuously" during communication with the blockchain, WePower said.
"While Ethereum is currently one of the most mature blockchain solutions supporting intelligent contracts, a concrete and decentralized application for large-scale self-employment is not yet feasible for large-scale energy trading on the blockchain" , recognized WePower.
Instead, the company said it would continue to work on a "hybrid solution" while monitoring the development of Ethereum and other blockchain technologies.
"Even if the current platform and its main functionalities can be performed on the Ethereum blockchain, to reach the full vision of WePower, several blockchain will be tested to find the best solution for large-scale infrastructure projects," said WePower.
Despite this, Scott Clavenna, president of Greentech Media at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said the project is "a big problem".
The ability to work on a nationwide platform is the key to testing how the blockchain can enable network flexibility services or any kind of localized peer-to-peer energy exchange, he said.
However, he noted, some aspects of the Estonian experiment may not be directly translatable into other markets.
"It's a unique environment as it has 100 percent coverage of the smart meters, so there's a common digital platform to fine-tune blockchain and a standardized way to share data, which is a stumbling block in most other national environments. ", he has declared.
Building on its experience in Estonia, WePower is now seeking to further optimize its platform for the trade in large-scale raw materials.
The company said that its system should be scaled down to five minutes of winding down the energy market, millions of users and terawatt hours of electricity.