PALO ALTO, Calif. (Dec. 2, 2020) – The Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI’s) Incubatenergy Labs—a program that connects leading startup companies with electric power utilities from around the world—invites startup companies to apply for the opportunity to propose innovative solutions to the most challenging issues facing the electric power industry. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in the 2021 Incubatenergy Labs Demo Day Challenge.
Startups must apply online to pitch their proposal to a group of electric power utilities in March 2021. Startups that deliver successful pitches at this event will go on to work with EPRI and electric power utility experts to scope and execute a paid pilot research and demonstration project within the service area of a participating utility next summer. This collaborative approach increases the value of the projects for all participants by expanding the reach of the startups and providing valuable investment information for the utilities. Applications can be submitted until January 14, 2021 through an online portal here.
“This program will connect promising startups with the electric power industry backing they need to put some momentum behind their innovations,” said Erik Steeb, who leads the Incubatenergy program. “And this program allows utilities to see for themselves how these innovations perform in a real-world environment without incurring the risk associated with deploying capital.”
The Incubatenergy Labs program offers startup companies the opportunity to demonstrate and scale their innovations in electrification, decarbonization, and grid modernization. For 2021, the program seeks solutions that address challenges associated with artificial intelligence, customer and community engagement, customer and community resilience, decarbonization and sustainability, the digital utility, electrification, and the workforce of the future. Startups with solutions that address other energy challenges will also be considered; they can submit applications in an ‘open’ category.
“Incubatenergy Labs is a terrific opportunity to use EPRI’s collaborative research model and apply it in a way that drives results faster than utilities normally can,” said Steve Kidwell, Vice President of Corporate Planning at Ameren Corporation. “Incubatenergy Labs is a way for our industry to be more agile with innovation, and I encourage more utilities to join us for 2021,” he said. Ameren and the Ameren Accelerator will be in its third year as a foundational member and host utility in the program, and in its fifth year of running its own accelerator efforts.
Incubatenergy Labs completed its most recent round of projects and demonstrations during the 2020 Demo Day in October. Of the 10 startups, seven are adding new and expanded opportunities with their host utilities.
In 2021, North American utility Fortis and California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) will join the growing roster of utilities participating in the program.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI members represent 90% of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States with international participation extending to 40 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Dallas, Texas; Lenox, Mass.; and Washington, D.C.