Free Electrons impact grows with more Pilots/Deals between Utilities & Startups
ME SOLshare wins Free Electrons 2018 ‘Best Energy Startup’ Award
Free Electrons, the global energy accelerator program that connects the world’s most promising startups with leading utilities around the world, has wrapped up the 2018 program with an impressive total of 43 pilots, in less than 7 months. The total value of new contracts for the participating startups exceeds $3 million.
The $200,000 prize for “Best Energy Startup 2018” was awarded to ME SOLshare, the revolutionary community DC solar power micro-grid. Founders Sebastian Groh, Hannes Kirchhoff, and Daniel Ciganovic were delighted to receive this award at the FREE ELECTRONS Grand Finale in Berlin on Friday night.
ME SOLshare has established the world’s first peer-to-peer solar energy grid in 2015 in a remote area of Bangladesh, the home of 5 million installed solar home systems throughout the country. The technology allows for peer-to-peer electricity trading between off-grid households connected to solar panels. During the program, ME SOLshare has announced that it raised $1.66 million under Series A round, subscribed by a fund backed by a consortium of investors that include innogy and EDP.
Also today the winners of the ‘Akimoto Award’ for Excellence in Fostering Innovation were also revealed. Derek Roddy, founder of Climote and Louise Rogerson, founder of Howz were popular winners for 2017 & 2018 respectively in a voting by all utilities and startups.
“We would like to say it’s all about maximizing performance: startups tested their business cases on a global scale, and the utilities backing Free Electrons acquired tools to continue to lead innovation in the energy sector. It’s a win- win approach for startups and utilities since this project is a testimony of our commitment to work together with startups, in building the future of the sector with clean, smart and widely accessible energy”, says the Free Electrons consortium of global energy utilities.
“It’s often a cliché to say everyone is a winner, but this is genuinely the case in Free Electrons. All 15 participating startups gained much-prized blue-chip utility pilot reference projects validating their products in the field”.