EPRI Invites Startups to Pitch Energy Innovations to Electric Power Utilities

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.