The Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator has been announced by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Shell, and the City of Houston, in collaboration with Greentown Labs and the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (LCHA).
Startups that are increasing low-carbon hydrogen generation, improving hydrogen storage and distribution, or delivering business model improvements for hydrogen supply chain management are encouraged to apply. The request for proposals contains more information on the individual technical areas of interest.
LCHA is the newest program in Greentown Launch’s family of programs, as well as the organization’s flagship corporate partnerships accelerator program and its third with UFL. This highly organized six-month accelerator program provides startup participants with opportunity to collaborate and interact with EPRI, its member utilities, and Shell on technology validation, feasibility studies, paid pilot demonstrations, and other research and commercial collaborations.
EPRI and Shell will provide two different options for startups to get involved:
The technology validation track, which is ideal for startups with a technology readiness level (TRL) of three to five; and the technology validation track, which is suited for startups with a technology readiness level (TRL) of three to five.
The technology demonstration track, which is intended for startups with a TRL of five to seven.
Both tracks provide unique access to EPRI’s extensive testing facilities, demonstration locations, and technical specialists, as well as experts from throughout Shell’s technology organization and hydrogen business, as well as access to the Shell GameChanger and Shell Ventures teams where appropriate.
EPRI can assist startups in their technology development and deployment efforts as an industry-leading research, development, and demonstration organization. This program complements EPRI’s low-carbon initiatives. EPRI and the Gas Technology Institute announced the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative last year, a five-year initiative to improve low-carbon power generating technologies and low-carbon energy carriers, giving the global decarbonization endeavor scientific legitimacy and impartiality.
“Advancing low-carbon, hydrogen technology is critical to meeting global net-zero ambitions by 2050,” said EPRI Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-carbon Resources Neva Espinoza. “EPRI is excited to share its energy sector knowledge with early-stage firms in order to foster inventions that might become gamechangers for overall decarbonization.” Greentown Labs has a long history of helping the startup community, and we’re happy to extend that partnership.”
Shell understands how to market and properly manage a high-energy-density commodity as an energy corporation. Shell also sees hydrogen fuel playing a key role in mobility and hard-to-decarbonize transportation sectors like heavy-duty haulage, marine, and aircraft, as well as heavy industrial like cement, steel, and chemicals in the future.
“We believe in the potential of cooperation at Shell, especially when it comes to discovering new, innovative, and disruptive solutions,” said Julie Ferland, Shell’s Vice President of Innovation Excellence. Identifying and scaling solutions through open innovation vehicles like the LCHA will be important in delivering a low-carbon energy future, and I’m looking forward to seeing what new innovations emerge from the LCHA’s inventive entrepreneurs.”
Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy created the “Hydrogen Energy Earthshot” earlier this year after visiting Greentown Houston, with the goal of lowering the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram by 2030. Accelerating innovation and increasing demand for clean hydrogen will aid in the decarbonization of high-polluting, heavy-duty, and industrial sectors while also providing well-paying clean energy employment.
“As the World’s Energy Capital,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stated, “I think it is our obligation to maintain Houston’s tradition of energy innovation and create the technology and practices needed to decarbonize the global energy industry.” “Houston has the trained manpower and infrastructure to create clean hydrogen on a large scale, and Greentown Labs’ Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator is an excellent example of the kinds of collaborations we’ll need to make it happen.”
“We know that startups working in hard-to-decarbonize sectors of our economy need collaborative partnerships to scale their technologies and impact,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “That’s 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.” “Low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to play a critical part in our economy-wide decarbonization efforts, and EPRI and Shell provide complementary areas of expertise to help realize this ambition.” We’re excited to collaborate with them, with our partners at UFL and with the backing of the City of Houston, to help creative hydrogen entrepreneurs succeed!”
Greentown, based in Somerville, Massachusetts, is the biggest startup incubator in North America, with a new outpost in Houston, Texas; and the Urban Future Lab is New York City’s longest-running cleantech business incubator. The two incubators have a track record of working together to curate, nurture, and launch viable climate solutions into the market. The LCHA participants benefit from a strong foundation and best-in-class experience thanks to their industry knowledge, incubation space, expert networks, and decades of experience assisting climatetech entrepreneurs. This is the second initiative Greentown and UFL have collaborated on that is solely focused on hydrogen innovation; the third program, the C2V Initiative, is presently ongoing and focuses on carbon to value ideas.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Greentown Labs team on our second clean hydrogen program.” Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at NYU Tandon’s Urban Future Lab, said, “With EPRI, 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 hydrogen innovations.” “Clean hydrogen can become a cost-competitive fuel if we can enhance the equipment and processes that will be used to manufacture, transport, and store it in the future.” At the same time, these advancements can boost renewable generation’s capacity factor, resulting in various economic and climate advantages.”