Enel Green Power North America is joining the strategic advisory board of Energy Excelerator, an incubator for clean energy start-ups based in Honolulu, the company announced on February 28. Through the global partnership, Enel will provide guidance on the selection of projects to be supported by the incubator.
On the strategic advisory board, Enel will sit alongside the U.S. Department of Energy, GE Ventures, Blackstone, and power utilities from five different countries, among others, to provide member start-ups with the support needed to develop innovative clean energy solutions.
Energy Excelerator describes itself as “a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the world’s energy systems challenges through innovation,” and funded by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, and corporate partners. EE operates as an international program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research – focused on decreasing the risk of, and commercializing, early stage energy technologies, using Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific as a test bed. To date, it has awarded more than $15 million to 53 companies that span the energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and cybersecurity sectors.
“The Energy Excelerator’s unique approach complements Enel’s incubator strategy and further expands the company’s start-up reach,” EGPNA said in a formal statement.
In July 2016, Enel launched its first Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv, Israel, in collaboration with SOSA & The Junction, one of the country’s most successful innovation communities. Enel also is involved in several other start-up acceleration programs, such as Energy Start in Latin America and INCENSe in Europe.
“This partnership with an organisation that shares our vision to use innovation to tackle the world’s energy challenges can only add to the implementation of Enel’s Open Innovation philosophy,” said Francesco Venturini, Enel’s Head of Global Renewable Energies, based in Italy. “Innovation is key to both our business strategy and to helping us keep up with the shifting energy landscape.”
He further noted, “Hawaii is one of the most promising innovation testing grounds which has a high penetration of renewable energy sources, and through this partnership we aim to expand our network of innovators to open energy up to new uses, new technologies and new people.”
Enel, through EGPNA, is a leading owner and operator of renewables facilities with projects operating and under development in 23 US states and two Canadian provinces. EGPNA operates over 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 3 GW, powered by hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar energy.