Enel through its US subsidiary Enel Green Power North America has become a global partner of and strategic advisor to a Hawaiian clean energy start-up incubator Energy Excelarator.
Enel Global Renewable Energies head Francesco Venturini said: “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.
“Innovation is key to both our business strategy and to helping us keep up with the shifting energy landscape. 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.”
As a global partner, Enel will be part of Energy Excelerator’s strategic advisory board, alongside the US 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.
By joining Energy Excelerator, Enel will access the organisation’s portfolio of start-ups, as well as advise in the selection of projects to be supported by the incubator.
Energy Excelerator is a non-profit organisation with the mission to solve the world’s energy systems challenges through innovation, funded by the US Navy, US Department of Energy, and corporate partners.
Energy Excelerator operates as an international programme of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research focused on de-risking and commercializing early stage energy technologies, using Hawaii and the Asia Pacific as a test bed.
To date, it has awarded more than $15m to 53 companies whose fields span energy, water, transportation, agriculture and cybersecurity. The organization is based in Hawaii, one of the world’s most prominent testing grounds for innovation and a leader in the creation of a new energy economy.
The Energy Excelerator’s unique approach complements Enel’s incubator strategy and further expands the company’s start-up reach. 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 is also involved in several start-up acceleration programmes, such as Energy Start in Latin America and INCENSe in Europe.
Enel is at the forefront of innovation in the energy sector, as highlighted in North America by the Stillwater hybrid power plant, in Nevada, which is the world’s first to combine geothermal, solar PV and solar thermal power at one site and the recent acquisition of Demand Energy Networks, Inc., a leading energy storage software and project developer.
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 3GW, powered by hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar energy.