EPRI, Shell, City of Houston, Greentown Labs and NYU Urban Future Lab launch hydrogen accelerator


The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Shell, and the City of Houston, in partnership with Greentown Labs and the Urban Future Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, are announcing the Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator (LCHAA) (LCHA).

Startups developing low-carbon hydrogen production, improving hydrogen storage and distribution, or developing new business models for managing hydrogen supply chains are encouraged to apply to the LCHA. In the RFP, you’ll find more information about the specific technology areas of interest.

As part of Greentown’s flagship corporate partnerships accelerator program, Greentown Launch, LCHA is Greentown’s third partnership with UFL. During this six-month-long, highly structured accelerator program, startup participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and engage with EPRI, its members, and Shell on various development and commercial partnerships.

Experts from Shell’s technology organization and hydrogen business are also available on both tracks, along with EPRI’s wide range of testing facilities and demonstration sites, as well as access to the Shell GameChanger and Ventures teams, when appropriate.

Research, development, and demonstration organization EPRI can assist startups in the development and deployment of new technologies. Building on EPRI’s low-carbon efforts, this program was created. There is a five-year effort to advance low carbon electric generation and low carbon energy carriers by EPRI and the Gas Technology Institute, providing scientific credibility and objectivity to the global decommissioning effort

“Accelerating low-carbon, hydrogen technologies is essential to achieving global net-zero targets by 2050,” said Neva Espinoza, EPRI Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-carbon Resources. “EPRI looks forward to sharing our expertise in the energy industry with early-stage companies to advance innovations that could become gamechangers for economy-wide decarbonization. We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Greentown Labs in supporting the startup community.”

In the oil and gas industry, Shell is well-versed in the commercialization and safe management of a high-energy-density product. Even in sectors like heavy-duty trucking, marine and aviation, as well as heavy industry like cement, steel and chemicals, Shell sees a future where hydrogen fuel plays an important role.

“At Shell, we believe in the power of collaboration, especially for uncovering new, exciting and disruptive technologies,” said Julie Ferland, Vice President of Innovation Excellence at Shell. Identifying and scaling solutions through open innovation vehicles such as the LCHA will be critical in the delivery of a low carbon energy future, and I am excited to see what novel technologies arise from the innovative startups that participate in the LCHA program.”

Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy launched the “Hydrogen Energy Earthshot” earlier this year, following a visit to Greentown Houston, to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram by 2030. Decarbonizing the heavy-duty and industrial sectors while creating high-paying clean energy jobs will be made possible by accelerating innovation and increasing demand for clean hydrogen.

“As the Energy Capital of the World, I believe it is our responsibility to continue Houston’s legacy of energy innovation and develop the technologies and practices needed to decarbonize the global energy sector,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Houston has the skilled workforce and infrastructure to develop clean hydrogen at scale and Greentown Labs’ Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator is a great example of the kind of partnerships we need to make it happen.”

“We know startups working in hard-to-decarbonize sectors of our economy need collaborative partnerships to scale their technologies and impact, which is why we’re so proud to partner with EPRI, Shell, NYU’s Urban Future Lab, and the City of Houston on the Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “Low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in our economy-wide decarbonization efforts, and EPRI and Shell bring complementary areas of expertise to help make this vision a reality. We, alongside our friends at UFL and with the support of the City of Houston, are eager to work with them to accelerate the success of innovative hydrogen startups!”

This year Greentown, a startup incubator in Somerville, Massachusetts, opened a new location in Houston and the Urban Future Lab in New York City is New York City’s longest running cleantech startup incubator. It has been proven that the two incubators have been successful in bringing successful climate solutions to market together. The LCHA participants will benefit from the combination of their industry expertise, incubation space, networks of experts, and decades of experience supporting climatetech startups. Second program Greentown and UFL have run together solely focused on hydrogen innovation—the third program currently underway is the C2V Initiative, which focuses on carbon to value innovations .’s

“We are delighted to work together once again with the team at Greentown Labs on our second clean hydrogen program. With EPRI and Shell and the City of Houston our teams are well positioned to have a significant impact on bringing real expertise and business connections to the young companies working on innovations in hydrogen,” said Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at NYU Tandon’s Urban Future Lab. “If we can improve the devices and processes that will be used to make, transport, and store clean hydrogen in the future, it can become a cost competitive fuel. At the same time these advances can improve the capacity factor of renewable generation, producing multiple economic and climate benefits.”

Applications for the LCHA must be submitted by February 9, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

Anela Dokso

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