GE Ecomagination winners announced: funding for smart grid applications

This week, GE and its partners announced the 12 start-ups, emerging businesses and university ideas selected for investment as well as the five winners of their open innovation challenge. As you recall, GE and several VC firms announced last July the creation of a $200 million fund for smart grid technology.

Here are details on the five Innovation winners:

  • Capstone Metering: Intelligent Water Meters – Carrollton, Texas: Capstone Metering applies remote communications technology to the century-old water meter, delivering real-time water system management, which helps conserve water and eliminates the need for manual meter readings. (http://capstonemetering.com).
  • ElectricRoute: Secure Communications Network for the Electric Grid, Salem and Hollis, New Hampshire: ElectricRoute created a communications gateway point for transmission and distribution systems. Its cyber-secure, communications network infrastructure eliminates duplicate sensors and thousands of copper lines running inside the substation.
  • GridON: Controlling Power Quality in Electric Grids, Givatayim, Israel: GridON created a fault-current-limiter to protect the electric grid from disruptions and power outages, increasing the grid’s reliability and enabling load growth and generation expansion from alternative energy sources. (www.gridonsystems.com).
  • IceCode: Wind Turbine Blade Anti-Icing and De-Icing, West Lebanon, New Hampshire: IceCode’s technology removes ice by using high-power pulses to apply heat from the inside out. Employing this technology for wind turbines substantially reduces the amount of energy used for de-icing and eliminates downtime for ice removal and inspection. (www.icecode.com).
  • WinFlex: Inflatable Wind Turbines, Kiryat Yam, Israel: WinFlex produces rotors for wind turbines from light, flexible and inexpensive cloth sheets made out of composite materials. This flexible rotor design reduces installation costs by at least fifty percent and shortens the return on investment to three – four years, without subsidies. (http://winflex.co.il).

The challenge generated nearly 4,000 ideas and the participation of 70,000 entrepreneurs in more than 150 countries, all working on a local scale to solve a universal problem.