GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid is an open call to action for businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students seeking breakthrough ideas to create a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid, and accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies.
The Challenge invites people to come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges - building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.
Selected Ecomagination Challenge entrants will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE through:
Investment: the $200 million capital pledge of GE and its partners will be invested globally into promising start-ups and ideas
Validation: evaluationof entrant’sbusiness strategy through in-depth discussions with GE‘s technical and commercial teams
Distribution: exploration of partnership opportunities with GE to scale a business and create global reach
Development: leveraging of GE‘s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development
Growth: exploration of opportunities for utilizing existing GE customer relationships for your go-to-market strategy
The Challenge, launched in collaboration with leading venture capital firms RockPort Capital, KPCB , Foundation Capital, and Emerald Technology Ventures and with Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wiredmagazine is part of GE’s ecomagination initiative, a global commitment to build innovative clean energy technologies and will help fund the most promising ideas.
Ecomagination Challenge Winners Announced (Nov 2010)
On 16th November, 2010, GE and its venture capital partners announced a collective investment of $55 million in leading power grid technology companies as part of the $200 million “GE ecomagination Challenge”. This is the first of several rounds of innovation funding planned by GE and its venture capital partners as part of the Challenge, a global commitment to accelerate the development and deployment of power grid technology through open collaboration. The 12 winners chosen from nearly 4,000 concepts submitted over the course of the 10-week open competition this summer, include the makers of solar-powered air-conditioning units, electrical vehicle charging stations, windows that automatically tint to control heat and glare, and power line monitoring systems that serves as a nervous sytem for the smart grid.
ClimateWell, Stockholm, Sweden (Efficient Appliances)
ClimateWell’s energy-efficient cooling and heating systems run on solar-powered hot water rather than electricity, maximizing energy efficiency.
Consert, Raleigh, NC (Energy Management Systems and Software)
Consert’s demand side energy management solution empowers utilities, municipalities and co-ops to manage load curtailment, increase operations efficiency and act as a virtual power plant.
The power line monitoring system for medium voltage networks serves as a nervous system for the smart grid. It integrates overhead line sensing, data storage, and wireless communication to a local controller to detect and locate faults in the smart grid and manage distribution communications, providing a platform for the present and future needs of the network.
The Fu Foundation School for Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, New York, NY (EV Charging Stations)
Columbia Engineering’s technology, developed by its Center for Computational Learning Systems, manages load and delivery and links electrical vehicle charging stations to the utility’s electric distribution management system in real-time.
JouleX, Atlanta, GA (Energy Management Systems and Software)
JouleX provides a single, network-based, energy-management solution. The JouleX Energy Manager monitors, analyzes and automatically adjusts the energy usage of a network’s connected devices and systems. It has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 30-60 percent.
OPOWER, Arlington, VA (Energy Management Systems and Software)
OPOWER integrates consumer demographics, energy consumption data and behavioral analytics to encourage households to make intelligent choices around power consumption in their homes. The average user reduces consumption by about 2.5 percent per month, helping to deliver savings.
Scientific Conservation, San Francisco, CA (Energy Management Systems and Software)
This platform monitors and manages energy drift in commercial buildings through predictive maintenance of core energy systems: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, controls and renewable sources. Using its patent pending diagnostics, it typically improves efficiency covering the cost of installation in less than two years.
SecureRF provides security solutions that address lower-powered embedded devices that will be used throughout the Smart Grid. Its Algebraic Eraser™ is a public-key cryptography method designed for resource-constrained devices like meters and sensors.
Sentient Energy, Burlingame, CA (Intelligent Sensor Technologies)
Sentient develops advanced grid monitoring solutions that consist of modular intelligent monitoring devices and software applications, enabling cost-effective distribution automation. It improves fault location, cause analysis and remediation, grid capacity management, and utility workforce utilization.
Soladigm, Milpitas, CA (Building Efficiency)
This window technology electronically switches glass from clear to tinted, enabling control of heat and glare. It can reduce energy usage for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems by 25 percent.
SustainX, West Lebanon, NH (Energy Storage)
This technology provides isothermal, compressed-air energy storage technology to enable cost effective, grid-scale energy storage. SustainX’s approach has the potential to be less than half the cost of traditional compressed-air energy storage.
SynapSense Corporation, Folsom, CA (Data Center Services)
Using a robust wireless sensor network, SynapSense’s solutions measure and manage the environmental conditions and power usage throughout data centers, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in overall energy consumption for typical, enterprise-class data centers.