November 12, 2019
HONOLULU, HI – November 12, 2019 – Shifted Energy has been selected as one of ten companies nationally to receive funding and technical support from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Selected for the incubator’s commercial buildings and housing cohort, Shifted Energy’s grid-interactive water heater (GIWH) technology helps stabilize the grid, absorb excess renewable energy, and reduce peak demand at a fraction of the cost of batteries.
IN2 is the proven model for assisting clean technology and agriculture companies to accelerate their paths to market. The program provides funding and technical assistance leveraging the capabilities, facilities, equipment and deep expertise that exists at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center). Shifted Energy will receive $250,000 of non-dilutive grants to validate the company’s technology at NREL, as well as gain the benefits of business connections across the entire IN2 network.
“Being selected to participate in the IN2 program gives our technology an incredible amount of validation,” said Forest Frizzell, Shifted Energy CEO. “The opportunity to receive expert guidance from NREL researchers, as well as access to their world-class facilities, is an invaluable benefit that will enable our electric water heater technology to reach its highest potential.”
In 2019, the Wells Fargo Foundation announced a commitment of $1 billion in philanthropic funding to help solve the nation’s affordable housing shortage. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, nearly one-third of U.S. households spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and 18 million households commit more than 50% for a safe place to live.
“The companies in our latest IN2 cohort show incredible promise in the affordable housing and energy efficient commercial building technology sectors,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer for Wells Fargo. “We are helping these start-ups overcome challenges for getting to market because when you look at the results of energy efficiency—improved health, increased productivity, cleaner communities—the benefits and return on investment are clear.”
The IN2 program initially launched in 2014 to support scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, which account for 19% of the nation’s energy use. Its commercial buildings portfolio includes a diverse mix of technologies designed to advance energy and water efficiency through HVAC system innovation, building management and controls software, advanced lighting, water-data technologies, and more.
“Wells Fargo’s affordable housing initiative aligns nicely with the IN2 mission and NREL’s expertise in construction innovation and energy efficiency,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at NREL. “With this cohort, we are taking IN2’s five-year legacy of fostering cleantech innovations that improve commercial building energy efficiency and translating that to the residential space.”
About Shifted Energy
Shifted Energy accelerates the integration of renewable energy by developing and deploying software and controllers that retrofit electric water heaters into fleets of thermal energy storage assets. Using its industry-leading virtual power plant software, Shifted Energy aggregates these assets to help stabilize the grid, absorb excess renewable energy, and decrease peak demand at a fraction of the cost of batteries, helping to engage hard-to-reach customers, such as renters and multi-family apartment dwellers, in the renewable energy transformation. For more information, visit www.shiftedenergy.com.
About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2)
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 has since expanded its focus to advance technologies that address the sustainable production of agriculture and affordable housing. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from IN2, technical support and validation from experts at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and ongoing connections to organizations across value chains. For more information, visit https://in2ecosystem.com.
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Trevi Communications for Shifted Energy
October 1, 2019
Shifted Energy has signed an agreement to incorporate its industry-leading grid-interactive water heaters (GIWH) into Hawaiian Electric Company’s emerging grid services market as part of a Grid Services Purchase Agreement led by Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI), the largest provider of software-as-a-service for grid operations in North America.
Shifted Energy will install up to 2,400 GIWH systems across Oahu and Maui, with a specific focus on hard-to-reach customers including low- and moderate-income, apartment dwellers, and renter communities. Under a five-year contract beginning in 2020, the combined GIWH systems will function as a 2.5-megawatt virtual power plant (VPP), making it one of the largest competitively procured GIWH deployments in the world. The units will respond in aggregate to signals from Hawaiian Electric to deliver key ancillary services such as fast frequency response, grid capacity increase and decrease – providing valuable services to the grid that will reward participants while enabling greater use of renewable energy.
“This landmark procurement validates the incredible potential of electric water heaters as valuable distributed energy resources that can support the utility and grid while simultaneously engaging and empowering hard-to-reach residents in Hawaii’s renewable energy future,” said Forest Frizzell, Shifted Energy CEO. “As one of the largest grid-interactive water heater-based virtual power plants in the world, this project will showcase our technology’s scalability, flexibility and value to both customers and utilities.”
“We are excited to have Shifted Energy join the OATI Energy Alliance and provide real-time aggregation of behind-the-meter water heater assets,” said Dr. Sasan Mokhtari, OATI president and CEO. “With Shifted Energy’s water heaters, all Hawaiian consumers can interactively power the distribution-centric grid of the future with a Grid Services Program that benefits everyone.”
“Electric water heaters -- especially residential systems - offer an invaluable collection of thermal storage resources that can be a key contributor to load flexibility,” said Richard Barone, Hawaiian Electric director of demand response. “OATI’s partnership with Shifted Energy, a Hawai‘i-based company, is an important step in helping Hawaiian Electric realize this potential while providing value directly to customers.”
Grid Services Program Benefits Customers and the Grid
The Hawaiian Electric project is an example of networked residential water heaters simultaneously providing convenience to users and services to the grid – with participating customers receiving compensation. Hawaiian Electric provides electric bill credits to customers participating in the Grid Services program in return for making the thermal energy stored in their grid-interactive water heaters available to Shifted Energy to create the virtual power plant.
Shifted Energy’s technology can rapidly and efficiently retrofit any existing electric water heater into a GIWH device to deliver grid services at a fraction of the cost of other storage technologies. Networks of GIWH devices, which function like batteries to provide flexible load, can help utilities overcome the challenge of balancing generation with customer demand, as well as support renewable energy integration.
Shifted Energy’s off-tank controller can be installed in less than 20 minutes and requires no plumbing modifications or tank-connected sensors. Its cellular communications platform with integrated cyber security enables real-time monitoring, control and verification; negates any reliance on customer internet or communications; and increases asset uptime and reliability. The company’s machine learning algorithms maximize available grid service capacity from each water heater while minimizing adverse impacts on a customer’s access to hot water.
About Shifted Energy
Shifted Energy accelerates the integration of renewable energy by developing and deploying software and controllers that retrofit electric water heaters into fleets of thermal energy storage assets. Using its industry-leading virtual power plant software, Shifted Energy aggregates these assets to help stabilize the grid, absorb excess renewable energy, and decrease peak demand at a fraction of the cost of batteries, helping to engage hard-to-reach customers, such as renters and multi-family apartment dwellers, in the renewable energy transformation.
OATI provides innovative solutions that simplify, streamline, and empower the operational tasks required in today’s energy commerce and Smart Grid. Working alongside Utility providers and their customers, OATI successfully deploys and hosts diverse mission-critical solutions committed to industry standards and stringent security guidelines. OATI is a leading provider of Smart Grid, Distribution, Energy Trading and Risk Management, Transmission Scheduling, Congestion Management, and Market Management products and services. OATI is the first and only Grid Services provider to Hawaiian Electric, and leads a team of companies, including Shifted Energy and others, to deliver a comprehensive Grid Services program to Hawaiian Electric. OATI is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with offices in California, Punjab, Telangana, and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.oati.com.
About Hawaiian Electric
For over 125 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern American state. Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries – Maui Electric Company and Hawaiʻi Electric Light Company -- serve 95 percent of the state’s 1.4 million residents on the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i Island, Lānaʻi and Moloka‘i. www.hawaiianelectric.com.
Press Contacts Eugene Hunt, Trevi Communications for Shifted Energy
gene @ trevicomm.com
Jerry Dempsey, OATI, Inc.
Communications @ oati.net