Teaser of the company
Comunitaria works to make communities more prosperous and economically sovereign by promoting the local economy with social currencies.
Comunitaria tested and validated the following blockchain-based solution in the scope of BlockStart:
Rooftop that Feeds
“Rooftop that Feeds” use donations to buy solar cells for the rooftops of deprived neighbourhoods, the electricity produced is then sold to the local commerce, the local commerce pay this electricity (to neighbours) using a digital community currency (instead of Euros), neighbours use the digital token to buy fresh food at the local commerce. Donation has a recurrent production (in local fresh food) equal to the lifespan of the solar cells.
Technical development during Prototype stage
During the development of Rooftop that Feeds, the following technical developments have taken place:
As MVP, solar panels were already installed on top of the Candelaria Church and an open-source power meter to measure photovoltaic power produced was installed (IotaWatt)
Also our IoT hub device (PATIO) was installed that runs a service that periodically reads the smart meters’s logs and publishes the measured data to our SaaS and to IOTA’s DLT. Our purpose is to save data as close as possible from where the energy exchanges were generated, without being manipulated by third parties. The service running in the PATIO device is open source and publicly available.
Our BlockStart challenge is to be able to invoice the merchants with the electricity produced in ILLAs (our local community currency).
Business development during Prototype stage
During the development of Rooftop that Feeds, the following business developments have taken place:
Local shops are willing to try out the consumption of electricity from the energy produced on the rooftop of the Candelaria Church (our MVP). The key to build trust in us by the local shop it’s been a year of dealing with our community currency, so it’s a battle tested customer adoption test.
SMEs interested in testing the solution in Pilot stage
Photovoltaic providers: SME (Grupo Cuerva) who is an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) photovoltaic plant and also a seller (marketers) and an SME (Barter Energy) specialized in “Energy communities” creation, both will help finance the installation of solar panels.
HOAs (Homeowners Associations): They’re the KEY SME ADOPTERS for us, they’re the ones validating the business case: use their rooftop to receive a local currency to buy at the local commerce.
Charities: The local church La Candelaria: they’re already having a discount in their electricity bill, we want them to accept ILLAs as payments for the electricity their rooftops is providing.
Local shops willing to contract the energy produced at the rooftops of the neighbourhood: the other KEY SME ADOPTERS as they need to be willing to change their electricity provider and pay partly their electricity with our local currency.
Lessons learned: the project needs donations or public finance for the installation of solar panels. The premium risk for privately financing the installation in a deprived area is so high (65%) that makes the project non viable otherwise. Thankfully our neighbourhood of “Los Pajaritos” (inside the Cerro-Amate District of Seville) is likely to be included as “Entorno Residencial de Rehabilitación Programada (ERRP)” and therefore able to receive funds from the aid programmes for residential rehabilitation and social housing of the “Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia” from the Next Generation EU funds, meaning that it can receive up to 100% of CAPEX cost.
Product roadmap – After pilot: Develop a dashboard to be able to manage various HomeOwners Associations (energy producers) together with various local shops (energy consumers) for different neighbourhoods.
Business roadmap/go-to-market strategy – After pilot:
- Replicate the MVP of Church “La Candelaria” in the 4 aligned homeowners associations in calle Celestino López Martínez. (4 months from completion)
- Look for Next Generation EU funds for the energy rehabilitation of the entire neighbourhood. (6 months from completion)
- Replicate in other Sevillian neighbourhoods (9 months from completion)
- Replicate in other Spanish areas (12 months from completion)
- Replicate in a low income EU Country neighbourhood. (24 months from completion)
Pilot stage implementation
In BlockStart, Comunitaria implemented its “Rooftop that Feeds” product in 7 SME adopters
Cactus is the company in charge of installing solar panels in the Los Pajaritos neighborhood.
As he already made the first installation of solar panels in the church of “Candelaria”, now he will also be in charge of making another installation in the church of “Blanca Paloma”.
The bar will be one of the buyers of solar energy within the energy community.
We are looking into the possibility that the facility can be one of the buyers of solar energy within the energy community. This would require an expansion of the solar panel installation.
Thanks to the participation of an owner’s community manager, we will be able to get that they are interested in our project, since they are an important figure in the creation of an energetic community in the neighborhood.
Our goal with them is to get the first community of owners interested in participating. We are currently waiting to set up a meeting with the owners.
A company so specialized in the energy area can offer us a wide variety of services to help us in our project.
After doing some tests, Cuerva is designing an energy measuring device with which we will be able to measure the energy produced, consumed and sold.
Association 3 Barrios
The Association 3 Barrios helps us to contact the neighbours of the neighbourhood so that they can try to buy fresh food with our social currency and so we can have different opinions from the people of the neighbourhood.
The objective we have with them is that they ask the neighbours if they are satisfied using the illas to buy food in local stores and so for now they are quite satisfied using it.
Pescadería Juan Antonio
They form an important part of the project in the process of transforming solar energy into illas, as they are in charge of purchasing the energy with illas.
In the pilot stage, we have managed to get the Candelaria church and the fish shop to sign agreements to share energy. Now we have to wait for the fish shop to pay its first bill in Illas.
The company related to the energy sector in which it offers its customers energy savings is a great ally for our project.
We want to create a “donate energy” program with them, so that part of the savings of their customers can be donated to the installation of solar panels in a poor neighbourhood. We are validating how this could be done.
Meet the Team
“We are delighted that BlockStart has promoted the search for partners who want to test our blockchain solution to fight malnutrition and poverty through solar energy. This is the highlight of the programme, which is very well mentored, helping you to think about the practical side of your developments with stakeholders who may be interested and involved.”
Total funding received by Comunitaria de Servicios a Comunidades SL. under BlockStart: €20,000 (€1,000 for Ideation Kick-off, €15,000 for Prototype stage and €4,000 for Pilot stage)