Baker-Polito Administration Announces Support for Early-Stage Clean Energy Companies

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Robert Fitzpatrick
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Jan 10, 2019 –

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $693,000 in funding to support four early-stage clean energy technology companies. The funding, awarded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) InnovateMass program, will support clean energy innovators in Hingham, Somerville and Worcester.

“Massachusetts is home to a robust clean energy sector and we look forward to the contributions these early stage companies will continue to make to the Commonwealth’s innovation economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Helping Massachusetts’ companies pursue technology breakthroughs will help develop solutions that address the state’s most pressing energy challenges, while also creating jobs and economic growth.”

“Programs like InnovateMass build upon the Commonwealth’s reputation as a national leader in clean energy innovation,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing this strategic support, we are supporting early stage companies as they pursue next-generation advancements in emerging markets like microgrids and energy storage.”

The InnovateMass program funds prototypes and demonstration projects which are designed to field test the real-world applications of innovative technologies. InnovateMass bridges the funding gap for early-stage companies seeking to widen their presence in commercial marketplaces, in addition to providing no-cost third-party project management and technical support. Since 2013, the program has awarded over $4 million in funding for projects across the Commonwealth and leveraged $5.5 million in other private and public investment.

“Clean energy startups are a vital component of our state’s innovation economy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “In addition to driving technology breakthroughs, the funding awarded under the InnovateMass program will help draw significant private investment into the clean energy economy.”

“InnovateMass supports early stage companies at a key point in their progression, providing essential capital that fills persistent funding gaps,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The Commonwealth is committed to helping these young companies expand business opportunities while positioning the state to reap the economic benefits of a robust innovation sector.”

The following companies are receiving funding:

·         Battery Resources (Worcester): $173,855 to demonstrate a zero-waste recycling system of electric vehicle batteries

·         Heila Technologies (Somerville): $249,052 to support a peer-to-peer, distributed energy resources optimization framework for microgrid applications

·         Steam IQ (Hingham): $44,832 to support a pilot program for steam trap monitoring in the MBTA steam system

·         VIA Separations (Somerville): $225,000 to pilot the use of high-pH tolerant membranes in the paper industry, allowing the industry to save energy by relying on membrane separations instead of thermal separations

This funding builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy innovation sector, including recent initiatives announced in clean heating and cooling, energy storage and electric vehicle technologies. In August 2018 Governor Baker signed legislation that will ensure Massachusetts remains a national leader in clean energy while reducing costs to ratepayers. The legislation, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, includes the Governor’s proposal to create the first Clean Peak Standard in the country, increases the Commonwealth’s energy storage target to 1,000 megawatt hours (MWh), increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard, expands the Mass Save® programs to allow for strategic electrification and other clean energy technologies, and authorizes the Department of Energy Resources to require an additional 1,600 megawatt (MW) of offshore wind to be procured by the electric distribution companies in Massachusetts.

“I am proud that Somerville is home to researchers and businesses who are hard at work creating innovative clean energy technology,” said State Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-Somerville). “Congratulations to Helia Technologies and VIA Separations, who, with this financial support, will be able to continue moving forward with their important work.”

“The cutting-edge work being done by SteamIQ is important to the future of the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “We need to continue to support innovative companies like this so that we may be a leader as this industry grows. I’m thankful that the Baker-Polito administration recognizes the importance of this emerging sector.”

“In order to maintain the Commonwealth’s leadership in clean energy innovation, we need to empower early-stage companies developing cutting-edge technology that could propel us into a clean energy future,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.  “I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration and MassCEC for committing financial and technical resources to help these companies refine and grow their innovative technologies.”

InnovateMass is funded through MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust, which was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997.The trust is funded by municipal electric departments that have opted to participate in the program, along with a systems benefit charge paid by electric customers of investor-owned utilities in the state.