Accelerator for low-carbon hydrogen solutions welcomes seven startups
Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas, May 10, 2022 — The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Shell, the City of Houston, Greentown Labs, and the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering today announce seven startup participants for the Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator (LCHA), a Greentown Go program designed to support solutions across low-carbon hydrogen production, storage, and distribution.
LCHA is part of the Greentown Go family of programs—Greentown’s climatetech partnerships accelerator—and is the 2022 program for the Go Energize track. This six-month, highly structured accelerator program offers startup participants collaboration and engagement opportunities with EPRI, its member utilities, and Shell on technology validation, feasibility studies, paid pilot demonstrations, and other development and commercial partnerships.
LCHA received 88 applications from 18 countries, representing numerous innovations that are advancing low-carbon hydrogen production, enhancing hydrogen storage and distribution, and providing business model innovations for the management of hydrogen supply chains. After a highly competitive judging and selection process, seven companies were chosen, representing the broad innovation needed across the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain to reach deep, economy-wide decarbonization:
- Advanced Ionics (Milwaukee, WI) is enabling green hydrogen production without the green premium.
- Arco Technologies (Bologna, Italy) is developing a proprietary Anion Exchange Membrane electrolyzer with the lowest capital expenditures and operating expenses possible today.
- Clean Power (Greater Manchester, United Kingdom) is developing a novel, low-cost, highly durable hydrogen polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell delivering zero-emission electricity.
- Element Resources (Houston, TX) is enabling compressed hydrogen storage tank technology.
- Smartpipe Technologies (Houston, TX) is developing a robust self-monitored repurposed pipeline system for hydrogen with minimal environmental disruption.
- SPEC Sensors (Newark, CA) is creating a robust and reliable meshed sensor network for hydrogen leak detection and line-monitoring systems.
- RUNWITHIT Synthetics (Alberta, Canada) is creating a live, digital twin modeling platform that generates decision-support data for regional hydrogen-demand scenarios.
EPRI and Shell will provide the startup participants two main pathways for engagement: a technology validation track and a technology demonstration track.
As an industry-leading research, development, and demonstration organization, EPRI can support startups in their technology development and deployment. This program builds on EPRI’s low-carbon efforts. In 2020, EPRI and the Gas Technology Institute launched the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, a five-year effort targeting advances in low-carbon electric generation technologies and low-carbon energy carriers, providing scientific credibility and objectivity to the global decarbonization effort.
“Accelerating low-carbon hydrogen technologies is an essential part of achieving global net-zero targets by 2050,” said Neva Espinoza, EPRI Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources. “EPRI looks forward to collaborating with these early-stage companies to advance innovations that could become gamechangers for economy-wide decarbonization.”
As an energy company, Shell understands how to commercialize and safely manage a high-energy-density commodity. Furthermore, Shell sees a future where hydrogen fuel plays an important role in mobility and hard-to-decarbonize transport sectors such as heavy-duty trucking, marine, and aviation, as well as heavy industry such as cement, steel, and chemicals.
“At Shell, we believe in the power of collaboration and see partnering with startups that bring disruptive technologies as a key enabler to delivering Shell’s ambition to become a net-zero-emissions energy business by 2050,” said Ed Holgate, Commercial Partnership Manager at Shell. “The combination of Shell and EPRI offers a unique set of capabilities to these startups, and we look forward to now moving to the next phase of the program, which we hope will create opportunities to accelerate these promising technologies.”
Last year, after visiting Greentown Houston, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and the agency launched the “Hydrogen Energy Earthshot” to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80 percent to $1 per kilogram by 2030. Accelerating innovation and spurring demand for clean hydrogen will be instrumental in meeting this goal while at the same time decarbonizing high-polluting, heavy-duty and industrial sectors and delivering good-paying clean energy jobs.
“Creating a robust hydrogen economy will require a systems-oriented approach and unparalleled cooperation between corporate partners and emerging companies,” said Ryan Dings, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at Greentown Labs. “We couldn’t imagine better partners than EPRI and Shell to lead our effort and we are enthusiastic about what will result from their engagement with this incredible cohort of startups.”
Greentown is the largest startup incubator in North America, headquartered in Somerville, Mass., with a second incubator in Houston, Texas; and the Urban Future Lab (UFL) is New York City’s longest-running cleantech startup incubator. The two incubators have a proven track record of jointly curating, fostering, and deploying successful climate solutions into the marketplace. The combination of their industry expertise, incubation space, networks of experts, and decades of experience supporting climatetech startups provides a strong foundation and best-in-class experience for the LCHA participants. This is the second program Greentown and UFL have run together exclusively focused on hydrogen innovation; the third program currently underway is the Carbon to Value Initiative, which is focused on carbontech innovations.
“The Low Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator is the latest of several impactful climate accelerators created by UFL and Greentown Labs with a host of excellent corporate or research entities,” said Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director at the Urban Future Lab. “As a research coalition with a member base primarily made of utilities, EPRI intricately understands the complexities of bringing new technologies onto the grid. As a fuels major, Shell understands all of the testing, safety, and production issues of fuels. We look forward to continuing this path forward with these terrific partners and our seven innovative startups.”
EPRI, Shell, the City of Houston, Greentown, and UFL hosted a kickoff for LCHA on April 7; a recording of the event can be viewed here.
About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of climate action pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With its headquarters in Somerville, Mass. and an incubator in Houston, TX, Greentown Labs is home to 200 startups and has supported more than 450 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 8,400 jobs and have raised more than $2.2 billion in funding. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
LCHA Media Contact:
Chief of Staff, Greentown Labs
About the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Founded in 2009, the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering is New York City’s longest running cleantech startup incubator. As an integral part of the NYU Tandon Future Labs network (https://futurelabs.nyc/), UFL provides unmatched access to industry stakeholders, strategic advice, marketing and branding support, investor networks, and a community of like-minded founders. Our portfolio includes industry-leading startups in the areas of renewable energy, smart buildings, agriculture, transportation, and resource-efficiency. The Urban Future Lab is leading the way to a more sustainable world by connecting people, capital, and purpose to advance market-ready solutions to address climate change. For more information, please visit ufl.nyc or find us on Twitter. For more information about NYU Tandon please visit engineering.nyu.edu.
Founded in 1972, EPRI is the world’s preeminent independent, non-profit energy research and development organization, with offices around the world. EPRI’s trusted experts collaborate with more than 450 companies in 45 countries, driving innovation to ensure the public has clean, safe, reliable, affordable, and equitable access to electricity across the globe. Together, we are shaping the future of energy.
Shell USA Inc. is an affiliate of the Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 16,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.