MassCEC Announces Winners of InnovateMass Program

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Funding for new energy technologies draws $1.3M in additional investments
May 22, 2013 –

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton today announced five projects that will receive $734,134 in funding under the inaugural round of the InnovateMass program, which seeks to advance deployment of innovative clean energy technology in the Commonwealth.

As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s support of the clean energy industry, the funding will allow the technology teams to test and showcase their early-stage technologies in preparation for commercialization and sales into the marketplace.

Through the technology team partnerships created in response to this program, the InnovateMass grants will leverage an additional $1.3 million in private and public investment or in-kind services and equipment and fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under InnovateMass, technology teams were eligible to receive up to $150,000 in matching funds for projects designed to address energy challenges facing the Commonwealth. The development of clean energy technologies requires a successful demonstration and validation of the technology in order to make it viable for investment and ready for mass production.

“This funding will advance clean energy demonstration projects that have strong commercialization potential, fueling an already innovative and robust clean energy sector,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, who serves as chair of the MassCEC Board of Directors. “Massachusetts companies are creating solutions for the world’s clean energy needs, creating jobs as these businesses grow.”

“These new ideas and technologies will get their first real-world testing right here in Massachusetts, making the Commonwealth a staging ground for innovation once again,” said Barton.

The technology teams receiving funding are:

  • Cambridge-based Ambri Inc. (with the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Raytheon, Analysis Group and Mass Development Finance Agency) – $150,000 (with a $452,355 match) to assist in demonstrating Ambri’s liquid metal battery technology, an energy storage system that will help better understand how large-scale systems can help a multitude of needs.
  • Boston-based Coincident (with Urbanica, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Sage Builders, GFC Development, the Boston Redevelopment Authority) – $150,000 (with a $251,000 match) for the deployment of residential energy management systems as part of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s desire to pilot new technology in public buildings that are striving for very ambitious reductions in energy use and costs.
  • Boston-based Keystone Towers (with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Gillette) – $95,500 (with a $96,003 match) to test a wind turbine tower manufacturing technique that has the potential to drive down production costs for medium- and large-scale turbines.
  • Wallston- based Applied Environmental Technology, or AET (Suntree Technologies Inc., MASSTC Cape Cod, Town of Garrett Park, MD) - $130,000 (with a $132,423 match) for the deployment of a their Passive Nitrogen Removal Module (PNRM,) a highly promising technology that delivers 95% Total Nitrogen reduction in actual onsite wastewater treatment, a system which requires little energy and has a lower life cycle cost.
  • Boston-based XL Hybrids (with Johnson Controls, Kiessling, NatVans) – $150,000 (with a $230,336 match) to design, test, deploy and monitor a platform to retrofitted hybrid commercial shuttle vehicles that are part of high-mileage urban fleets. The technology is expected to provide significant fuel cost savings for the pilot vehicles, and will result in 24 percent less carbon emissions
  • Woburn-based Bandgap Engineering (with Broadway Electrical Company, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy) – $38,634 (with a $39,185 match) to develop, install and monitor a more highly-efficient model of solar panel that promise higher efficiency than standard silicon wafer panels.

“Even the most promising early-stage cleantech companies face formidable funding gaps that limit their ability to prove out their technologies and attract investments," said Peter Rothstein, president of the New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute. "The NECEC Institute worked closely with MassCEC on this challenge because we see the potential for the InnovateMass awards to provide timely financial support for demonstration opportunities, thus helping companies bridge the technology valley of death.”

The Massachusetts’ clean energy economy grew by 11.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012, according to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, which shows the growing sector employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy firms across the Commonwealth.

The Patrick-Murray Administration set Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets of a minimum of 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050, and a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020.