Shell backs three power startups in US accelerator

Shell backs three power startups in US accelerator

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Shell GameChanger Accelerator (GCxN) is run by US energy lab NREL to provide promising cleantech startups with technical resources and up to $250,000 to accelerate product commercialization.

The startups in the third cohort are developing perovskite solar panel materials, hybrid solar-thermal systems and large-scale energy storage solutions.

BlueDot Photonics in Seattle is developing a cost-effective and scalable manufacturing process to create solar panels using perovskite materials, which can increase solar panel output by at least 10 percent.

Icarus  in San Diego is creating a hybrid solar-thermal photovoltaic system that stores leftover waste heat from solar panels to generate power on demand. This significantly increases power output per panel and lowers overall cost per kilowatt.

Jolt Energy Storage in Missouri uses organic compounds to develop safer and more efficient flow batteries with the same large-scale storage capabilities as lithium-ion, but at a lower cost.

Over the past decade, solar deployments in the United States have increased by an average of 48 percent each year. The energy storage market is on a similar trajectory, nearly doubling in size in 2018 with similar expectations for final 2019 numbers.

“Startups play a critical role in maintaining the momentum of the clean energy transition. Now, more than ever, it is increasingly important to foster cleantech innovation and help promising solutions overcome barriers to market,” said Adam Duran, GCxN program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Potential companies are nominated by network of 63 cleantech incubators, accelerators and universities before undergoing in-depth review by Shell and NREL. Once in the program, companies have access to up to $250,000 in technical assistance, with the opportunity for future follow-on funding, benefit from NREL’s lab facilities  and have support from Shell and the Channel Partners network.

“The startups that have been selected for the third GCxN cohort will help us achieve a lower-carbon future. They are looking at the full life cycle of solar and storage performance, and their technologies have the potential to drastically improve functionality and meet a wide range of real-world needs,” said Haibin Xu, program manager at GCxN.

The previous cohort inluded Hugge Power, Allcell, Intertie, Microgrid Labs and Span.

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