On December 19, the NYFPC led a local press tour to LO3 Energy, a New York-based startup, which introduced 16 journalists representing a variety of print, television and radio outlets to the company’s new “Brooklyn Microgrid” project. The project enables peer-to-peer transactions of energy, making it possible for neighbors to buy and sell solar, wind, or other self-generated power using smart meters and an app. Sixty microgrid meters have already been installed at energy-producing buildings across Brooklyn, and around 350 people have signed up to participate. The project doesn’t involve rewiring the physical grid, it just tweaks how electricity is bought and sold. It relies on blockchain- the same secure digital ledger used in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The team is working with regulators to define how electricity can legally be traded through the microgrid in the future. LO3 Energy’s CEO and Director for Business Development offered on-the-record remarks and a tour of Brooklyn Microgrid’s headquarters, after which one of the program’s first community participants described his experience as a “prosumer” (producer and consumer) of energy through this innovative program. Journalists from Japan, South Korea, France, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, and Italy attended the program.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future