NREL-funded start-ups give sneak peak into future energy-saving technologies

by Brianna Crandall — January 27, 2017 — Several technologies under development that have been newly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reveal a sneak peak into energy-saving technologies of the near future.

NREL is helping an additional 10 companies advance their energy-saving technologies under the third round of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) program, a five-year, $10 million program designed to facilitate early-stage technologies that provide scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings.

Including Round 3 selections, a total of 20 companies have been awarded in-kind technical and project support funding to date.

According to Richard Adams, director of NREL’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center:

IN2 continues to attract high quality applicants and companies and is proving out the model that we had envisioned. Participating companies have been acquired by successful clean-technology corporations and received follow-on funding, and beta demonstrations are underway within the program. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to advance these early stage technologies and offer real-world test conditions in order to optimize their potential for success in the market.

Small businesses selected to participate in round three are:

  • Transformative Wave (Kent, WA): HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning), light, and battery storage retrofit kit for commercial buildings
  • Software Motor Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA): Super high efficiency Internet-enabled motor for HVAC applications
  • PowerFlex Systems (Los Altos, CA): Adaptive EV (electric vehicle) charging network for demand response and renewable integration
  • simuwatt (Boulder, CO): Rapid energy auditing software and platform
  • Maalka (New York, NY): Open modeling platform for managing large-scale building sustainability initiatives
  • Geli (San Francisco, CA): Software platform to design, automate, and manage energy storage systems
  • APANA (Bellingham, WA): C&II smart water management systems using IoT (Internet of Things) and prescriptive analytics
  • EdgePower (Aspen, CO): Cloud-hosted energy simulation application for analyzing and enhancing building performance
  • Ibis Networks (Honolulu, HI): Plug load management for the enterprise
  • J2 Innovations (Chino, CA): Building automation and operating system for connecting and controlling devices

Launched in 2014, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by NREL. The IN2 program sources potential program participants from more than 40 universities and regional accelerator programs that serve as channel partners.

Selected companies also receive access to Wells Fargo financial services, products, education and mentorship, and ultimately an opportunity to potentially beta test their energy-saving technologies within the Wells Fargo footprint.

To find out more about this and similar programs supported by NREL, visit the NREL Innovation and Entrepreneurship Web site.