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Clean Energy Incubator, Austin Energy Agree to Test Clean Technologies to Accelerate Commercialization

The Austin Technology Incubator’s Clean Energy Incubator and Austin Energy have agreed to create the first test-bed environment in the United States for alternative energy companies to prepare their technologies for commercialization.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The Austin Technology Incubator’s Clean Energy Incubator and Austin Energy have agreed to create the first test-bed environment in the United States for alternative energy companies to prepare their technologies for commercialization.

The partnership will allow clean technology companies to accelerate their path to market through early product validation with a leading utility.

"A major slowdown in getting clean energy companies to market is early utility validation," said Joel Serface, director of Clean Energy Incubator. "Through our test-bed partnership, Austin Energy will give critical feedback and credibility to startups who prove themselves in Austin Energy’s environment."

The Clean Energy Incubator and the Austin Technology Incubator are part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin.

The test-bed partnership, supported unanimously by the Austin City Council, will allow Clean Energy Incubator member companies to plug into different parts of Austin Energy’s grid to prove their technologies. Such innovative programs led by the Clean Energy Incubator and Austin Energy have helped Austin be recognized as the leading cleantech incubation center.

A report by SustainLane, a green media company, released last week named Austin the No. 1 U.S. city in incubating and clustering clean technology companies. The report ranked 50 cities and credits Austin with creating a robust test facility that is an innovative and economic step forward for the clean energy market.

"It is great that Austin is being recognized as the ‘Cleantech Capitol,”’ said Mayor Will Wynn. "The Clean Energy Incubator and Austin Energy have long been leaders in clean technology. The test-bed partnership is the first of its kind and will extend Austin’s leadership in developing and using clean technologies. This will also become a powerful economic development engine for the city of Austin."

The Clean Energy Incubator is extending an invitation to companies to come to Austin and participate in this unique partnership. By applying to participate in the Austin Clean Energy Venture Summit, start-up companies will have the opportunity to present to the Clean Energy Incubator, Austin Energy, leading international venture capitalists and energy companies. Several of the companies selected to participate in the conference will be extended invitations to take part in the test-bed partnership. 

The Clean Energy Venture Summit, held on May 14-16, will highlight many of the potential technologies that will help create "The Utility of the Future," including green building, energy efficiency, grid-connected vehicle technologies and smart-grid applications.

Visit Clean Energy Venture Summit to participate in this conference.

For the past three years, Austin Energy has been ranked as the No. 1 green energy program in the country by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, generating more revenue than its closest competing utilities in Portland, Ore. and Los Angeles. Its Green Choice program has sold more than 334 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy last year.

About Austin Energy

Austin Energy is the community-owned electric utility of Austin, Texas, serving 360,000 customers and a population of 880,000. Austin Energy is nationally recognized for its energy efficiency programs, establishment of the nation’s first Green Building Program and for the nation’s No. 1 renewable energy program for sales since 2002, outperforming 600 utility-sponsored green power programs nationwide. Austin Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program offers rebates and loans for energy-efficiency improvements. Since 1982, more than 200,000 Austin residents have participated in the utility’s energy efficiency programs.

About the Clean Energy Incubator

The Clean Energy Incubator has been a leader in building clean-tech companies since its inception in 2001 when it was formed as a program of the Austin Technology Incubator, a division of The University of Texas at Austin, the IC2 Institute, and inspired by the National Renewable Energy Lab. The incubator oversees seven portfolio companies in the cleantech market and is supported by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office and Austin Energy.

For more information contact: Kurt Faulhaber, Clean Energy Incubator, 512-305-0038.