The Shell GameChanger Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN) announced three new startups to participate in the program following a multistage competitive evaluation. GCxN provides promising cleantech startups with technical resources to accelerate product commercialization while de-risking investment. The new companies represent the program’s third cohort and are focused on enabling more efficient and effective solar and storage solutions.
The selected startups are developing perovskite solar panel materials, hybrid solar-thermal systems and large-scale energy storage solutions. The third cohort of GCxN companies include:
- BlueDot Photonics (Seattle) – 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%.
- Icarus, RT (San Diego) – Creating a hybrid solar-thermal photovoltaic system that stores and uses 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 (Holland, Michigan) – Using 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% 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. In the midst of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to foster cleantech innovation and help promising solutions overcome barriers to market,” said Adam Duran, GCxN program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Aspiring GCxN startups are nominated by Channel Partners — a 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 research capabilities, and have support from Shell and the group of cross-industry Channel Partners.
“The startups that have been selected for the third GCxN cohort could help the world achieve a lower-carbon future. They look at the full life cycle of solar and storage performance with technologies that have the potential to drastically improve functionality while meeting a variety of real-world needs,” Haibin Xu, Shell’s GCxN program manager, said.
News item from GCxN