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E-Blockchain: A Scalable Platform for Secure Energy Transactions and Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0017766
Agency Tracking Number: 230162
Amount: $149,847.45
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001619
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-06-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-03-11
Small Business Information
7136 Petursdale Ct.
Boulder, CO 80301-3831
United States
DUNS: 605505531
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Cohen
 (303) 808-3329
Business Contact
 David Cohen
Phone: (303) 808-3329
Research Institution

The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly and is creating the need for a more decentralized and secure way to integrate (IoT) devices into Smartgrid and power plant control system infrastructure. Current centralized approaches are not able to adequately deal with the emerging Cybersecurity threats that are being created by the convergence of industrial control systems with the IoT. While Blockchain technologies are inherently Cybersecure none of the currently available blockchain technologies are suited to the unique technical requirements of IoT, power system-based IIoT networks, and SmartGrid applications. Current barriers of blockchain-based systems include: excessive blockchain transaction fees, scalability problems, and unacceptable latency issues. The problem is being addressed by the novel application of a modified blockchain architecture which supports blockchains native capability for cybersecure transactions between SmartGrid and IoT devices (sensor/actuator networks, power system controls, and distribution automation systems). The proposed novel platform approach solves the inherent limitations of Blockchain by modifying the architecture to enable cybersecure communications, protect integrity, authenticity, auditability, and consistency of all transactions as well as elimination of transaction fees, scalability, and latency issues. or the Phase 1 effort, Evolution7 Labs will build an innovative, proof-of-concept software platform called E-Blockchain™ which is built upon an enhanced blockchain layer to enable secure transaction and control applications within the SmartGrid or “Grid of Things” domain. We focus on applications that involve the integration of centralized and decentralized power plant control systems with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) networks. The E-Blockchain software platform provides critical capabilities to (1) reduce the risk of Cybersecurity threats for power system-based IIoT networks, (2) increase SmartGrid reliability, (3) reduce power plant emissions, and (4) increase plant efficiencies. The E-Blockchain™ platform is designed to be scalable, resilient, secure, and resistant to quantum computer attacks which is well suited for power system-based IIoT networks. The product will be ready for commercial beta testing in Phase II of this SBIR project. Commercial applications include Cybersecurity-enhanced software applications to be integrated into existing power plant and industrial control system vendors such as General Electric, Siemens, OSISoft and ABB as well advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) vendors providing two-way communication between utilities and customers such as Itron, Silver Spring Networks, and others. Other applications include Energy Service Company vendors providing smart energy control systems to commercial and industrial customers and utility operators such as Stem, Tesla/Solar City, Blue Pillar, Enel, and Sempra Energy.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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