ACWA Power has made the move to adopt SolarCoin, becoming the first utility-scale generator to implement the blockchain-based digital asset and currency.

The Saudi Arabia-headquartered developer, owner, and operator of power generation and water desalination plants said in a statement that its adoption of the cryptocurrency will provide it with digital tokens for every MWh of solar energy it produced.

SolarCoin will also serve as another means of payment for goods and services, in addition to conventional currency, ACWA Power added.

Noting that the cryptocurrency is designed to incentivise global solar energy production, the company explained that energy producers would earn digital tokens at the rate of 1 SolarCoin (SLR) per 1 MWh of solar energy produced.

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Commenting on ACWA Power’s adoption of SolarCoin, Paddy Padmanathan, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We are always looking for ways to adopt new technologies to add value and reduce cost in all that we do, and blockchain technology, in our view, offers a yet untapped opportunity for the power generation sector.

“Now through SolarCoin, we are able to utilise blockchain technology in one way to create value to renewable energy generation. Being early utility-scale adopters of SolarCoin, ACWA Power is proud to leverage our rapidly growing solar energy generation capacity to accelerate the utilisation of SolarCoins to, in time, further reduce the cost of solar energy through the supplementary value being created.”

Meanwhile, Nicholas Gogerty, founder of SolarCoin Foundation, added: “Awarding coins to solar energy producers, such as ACWA Power, provides an incentive to continue to invest in solar capacity.

“We hope to see further adoption of SolarCoin in the region, with the aim of building a strong community and spurring a global market for renewable energy investment.”

According to ACWA Power, its 50MW Bokpoort CSP project in South Africa and 50MW Karadzhalovo PV plant in Bulgaria are already generating SolarCoins.

ACWA Power further revealed that it will be hosting a workshop, led by SolarCoin Foundation, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on 16 January, 2018 to introduce blockchain technology, how SolarCoin is mined, and how the SolarCoin wallet works.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which opened yesterday, will run until 20 January, 2018.