Incubatenergy® Labs is built for startups to engage EPRI and electric power utilities in paid demonstration projects. A utilities summit and collaborative demonstrations program in one, the program links startup companies leading the advancement of electrification, decarbonization and grid modernization with utilities from around the world that have the capacity and desire to demonstrate and scale those innovations. We structured the program to give you maximum exposure to utilities and ensure that the results of a successful demonstration with one utility turns into opportunities with many. New for 2023 startups now have the possibility of demonstrations in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, or Latin America.

Our 2022 cohort applications open in December, please keep watching for details. 



EPRI Office, Washington DC | December 7- 8, 2022

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Technical Executive, Principal

Thursday, September 22, 2022

12 - 1 PM EDT

Vik Chaudhry

Founder, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Operating Officer

Buzz Solutions

Kaitly Albertoli

CEO, Co-Founder

Buzz Solutions

Dexter Lewis

Principal Technical Leader


Brett Belbin

Electrical Engineer, T&D Engineering
Newfoundland Power

Participation in

Through Incubatenergy Labs, EPRI and a group of leading utilities are engaging early stage companies to demonstrate and deploy innovative solutions in targeted areas. Incubatenergy Labs is your opportunity to get behind the scenes with a number of the largest electric utilities in the U.S.

Why Incubatenergy labs

  • Utility Exposure: Present and showcase to utilities and R&D experts from across the U.S.
  • Paid Demonstrations: Compete for paid demonstrations with leading utilities in North & South America and Europe
  • Rapid Execution: Scope demonstrations in 6 weeks, execute in 16
  • Demonstrate with one, get traction with many: While companies generally engage a single utility in a demonstration, all participating utilities are involved in the demonstration scope, progress, and results.

Successful candidates will access data, gather insights, scope demonstration trials, and test their products/services in live customer environments.


Direct engagement with major utility business leaders and subject matter experts

Demonstration of your tech on-site with some of the largest energy providers in North & South America and Europe

The opportunity to grow your catalog of contacts through EPRI’s Incubatenergy Network

Time to develop a relevant use case with senior stakeholders prior to Pitch Day

Engage utility and industry investment groups

Accelerated, paid demonstrations on-site between startups and utilities


Selected startups will have access to experienced electric industry subject matter experts throughout the course of the LAB.

Ram Sastry

AEP, VP Innovation and Technology

ken patrick

Ameren, Senior Manager, Electrification Policy and Innovation

Kevin Woodbury

Fortis, VP, Innovation & Technology

Ram Sastry

AEP, VP Innovation and Technology

Amy Burke Henry

TVA, Director of Transformative Innovation

Al Choi

Xcel Energy, Manager Business Innovation Innovation and Transformation Office

Challenge Categories

Incubatenergy® Labs seeks technologies for 2023’s cohort in the following innovation challenge categories:

Customer and Community Engagement

Customers and their satisfaction lie at the core of any business. As an industry, we want to be more proactive to better serve our customers, particularly those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged, provide more personalized communications and information, and offer services and solutions targeted to individual needs. Bring us your solutions that help us create grid-interactive smart communities, enable broad community benefit, and support economic development. These solutions help our customers become more proactive and informed participants in a cleaner, more integrated, and resilient energy system, and create new lines of business for our utilities.

  • Virtual Assistants, automated dispatch, rapid response and assistance for vulnerable customers
  • Seamless integration and management of connected energy devices
  • Price signaling or transactive energy platforms
  • Advanced customization / targeted customer engagement
  • Predictive behavioral and adoption analysis
  • Connected communities
  • Public benefit use of rights-of-way under power lines and other infrastructure
  • Customer carbon footprint

Decarbonization and Sustainability

The world is on a path to decarbonize and the electric power industry is leading the charge. Since 2005, the US reduced its carbon footprint one gigaton, primarily by switching to cleaner fuels, expanding renewables, and driving efficiencies. To get the next gigaton, we need solutions to integrate and manage more low-carbon energy generation: from distributed to utility-scale solutions covering wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, and low-carbon fuels; to systems that help us optimize their output. Circularity in our operations and materials also are critical. As we deploy these solutions, controls, financing, accounting systems, and materials technology options will help society better track environmental impacts and support a shift to zero carbon. Our path to deep decarbonization also includes a focus on low-carbon hydrogen technologies.

  • Sector-coupling clean energy fuel programs
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting solutions
  • Green energy finance
  • Circularity and low-carbon materials (vegetation waste, plastics, concrete, SF6 replacement, etc.)  
  • Satellite imagery for environmental resource monitoring (water, air, habitat, vegetation, etc.)
  • Sustainable materials, methodologies, and supply chain
  • Identification of aquatic and terrestrial species of concern for planning, compliance monitoring, and reduction of impacts in real time
  • Offshore wind solutions
  • Green hydrogen solutions
  • Hydrogen storage systems
  • Renewables integration
  • Low-carbon fuels generations, distribution, and storage
  • CO 2 value chain solutions

Electric Mobility

Electrification is a key component of our decarbonization strategy, and transportation represents our biggest emitter. To get a gigaton out of transportation, we need solutions to enable low-cost, ubiquitous, and manageable charging, comprehensive fleet-as-a-service solutions, and charging infrastructure wherever we drive and park. And as adoption scales, we need the ability to manage charging and to call on vehicles to switch from energy consumer to supplier and back depending on the need.

  • Charging balance-of-system cost reduction
  • Low-cost charging for multi-family, underground and public parking
  • Reduced grid impact for home and fast charging
  • EV charger detection, grid planning and charge management
  • EV fleet and fleet-as-a-service
  • V2G and V2X

Fixed-Premise Electrification

Building systems and commercial/industrial processes represent significant opportunities for decarbonization. Utilities have long been active in innovations around building envelopes, device efficiencies, and demand response programs. As we add intelligence, load disaggregation and flexible load solutions, we help match energy consumption to grid availability without sacrificing comfort or performance. As these solutions become more integrated and complex, there also is a need for comprehensive Electrification-as-a-Service solutions that guide customers through the design, deployment, and operation of solutions.

  • Advanced HVAC systems
  • Load disaggregation, monitoring, and control
  • Flexible load control solutions
  • VPP and virtual battery solutions 
  • Standards and solutions for behind-the-meter interoperability 
  • Comprehensive Electrification-as-a-Service
  • Low-and-moderate-income (LMI) & disadvantaged communities (DAC) targeted programs
  • Industrial heat pumps


Nuclear power will play a critical role in the decarbonization of the electric generation sector. Many models show the need for both existing nuclear power plants, as well as new advanced reactors, to meet climate goals. Innovative, ancillary technologies are needed to assist existing nuclear plants in operating more efficiently and help with the cost-effectiveness of advanced nuclear reactor designs.

  • Automated plant operations
  • Plant digitization and modernization
  • Advanced radiation protection technologies
  • Nuclear fuel cycle
  • Digital twins, online monitoring, and automated analysis
  • Sensors and robotics for high temperatures

Predictive & Prescriptive Operations

With the growth in renewables, distributed energy systems and electrification, modeling, and managing our grid is more important than ever. Digital overlays and AI/ML are fundamentally transforming the electric power system, and we seek solutions that provide more intelligent and autonomous power plants. We also seek automated, data-driven, and optimized operations, maintenance, and planning technologies for building a safer, more efficient, equitable, decentralized, secure, and decarbonized grid that better serves our customers.

  • Predictive asset monitoring, maintenance, prognostics, planning and management
  • Grid flexibility and automated management for distributed energy resources and baseload generation
  • Dynamic degradation and failure prediction on renewable generation assets
  • Unmanned systems and digital imagery capture and analytics
  • Advanced atmospheric and weather modeling
  • AI-enhanced IT/OT hardening and cyber threat mitigation
  • Resilient, secure communications to support ubiquitous connectivity
  • Internet of things (IoT) for grid monitoring
  • Digital twins


Extreme weather, flooding, and other related events are becoming all too common. Preparing for such events and keeping customers and communities safe, informed, and with access to power through them is a top priority. Bring your solutions that help us better prepare, predict localized events, prevent outages where possible and, when they happen, communicate with our customers and restore power quickly.

  • Extreme weather events mitigation, risk analytics, and dynamic response systems
  • Anti-icing, anti-corrosion, self-healing, and undergrounding
  • Resilience planning, situational awareness, communications, and dispatch automation
  • Automated and responsive event and restoration effort information systems
  • Utility-scale, long-duration storage (LDS)
  • Mobile/Transportable LDS
  • Off-grid, isolated energy solutions
  • “Plug-and-play” or “as-a-Service” customer energy storage systems, microgrids and energy management platforms
  • Distributed analytics and controls for balancing and operation of islanded microgrids
  • DER/DERMS control
  • Disadvantaged & LMI community resilience
  • Drones
  • Wildfire preparedness and response, including drought detection and advanced weather prediction
  • Climate solutions
  • Water solutions for regions at risk for flooding, storm surges, etc.
  • Seismic/geological solutions for mitigating hazards in areas at risk for earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, and other geological events


Technological advances have led to rapid growth of opportunities in the robotics industry. As utilities manage the aging of existing assets and develop new advanced power plants, industry will need robotic platforms and integrated data analysis tools to safely and reliably reduce the cost of operations, inspections, and maintenance of power generation assets. We expect the next generation of these platforms to operate autonomously in difficult land, sea, and air environments, while sharing space safely with human workers and high-value assets.

  • Physical security of critical assets
  • Solutions for operating in inaccessible areas, such as ladders and heavy doors
  • Operating robotic emergency response in difficult weather conditions
  • Collaborative robots (“cobots”) for assisting human workers
  • Onboard machine vision, automated analysis, and decision-making to facilitate handoffs from human-controlled to autonomous
  • Advanced sensor payloads for radiation, audio, visual, and chemical detection
  • Payloads and systems for monitoring equipment condition
  • Advanced submersibles for maintenance diving tasks
  • Field-based and construction automation

Waste-Derived Renewable Fuels

Waste minimization and valorization play a critical role in a sustainable, net-zero economy, but full realization requires significant scale. Among valorization pathways, waste-to-renewable fuels has the greatest potential for scale and growth. Furthermore, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), waste-based renewable fuels are expected to see disproportionately high demand growth relative to other biofuels. While the opportunity is large, production processes for waste-derived renewable fuels are in early stages of development. Significant innovation and focused development are necessary to achieve full commercial scale and become competitive versus conventional biofuels and incumbent fossil-based fuels.

Waste-to fuels pathways are those capable of converting waste and residue-based materials; such as cellulosic farm and forestry byproducts, organic landfill or municipal waste treatment plant solids, discarded plastics and recovered carbon dioxide; into direct-replacement hydrocarbon fuels, such as renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (kerosene), and oxygenates including methanol, ethanol, butanol, and dimethyl ether. Topics of interest include:

  • New conversion technologies and production processes
  • Technologies that improve or enhance yield and efficiency of existing production processes
  • Technologies for converting raw waste to bio-intermediates
  • Techniques, technologies, and applications that improve and promote integrated systems and systemic efficiencies
  • Modular solutions that enable distributed deployment at waste source

Workforce of the Future

Technology can help our workers perform their jobs more safely, efficiently, and effectively. Wearables, augmented reality, the convergence of information and operational technologies, the internet of things (IoT), and big data solutions are being combined in creative new ways to help our workforce thrive. We’re looking for technology that drives smarter operations through asset monitoring tools, equipment, analytics, and AI to improve operational safety and customer experience.

  • Wearables for personnel and/or environmental monitoring and safetY
  • Robotics, exoskeletons, and unmanned systems for completion of hazardous tasks
  • XR for immersive, remote training, information accessibility, and task efficiency
  • Digital worker enhancements and remote, real-time assistance on complicated jobs


Do you think we’re missing the boat on something? If you have a relevant technology that doesn’t fit into one of the areas above, we want to hear about it!


Do you think we’re missing the boat on something? If you have a relevant technology that doesn’t fit into one of the areas above, we want to hear about it!


APPLICATIONS Will open November 2023

EPRI & Utility Subject Matter Experts will then screen applications thru February 2024.


Up to 30 teams will be selected to join Incubatenergy® Labs for a bootcamp to outline a clear use case for a paid demonstration project. 


Startups present their technologies and demonstration concepts, get 1:1 interaction and network with EPRI and energy provider executives, innovation scouts and subject matter experts. . 


Companies selected out of Pitch Day will work with EPRI and utilities over six weeks to refine their use case, scope and contract a 16-week demonstration project. 


Projects kick off in June 2023 where you’ll work with EPRI and a lead utility on demonstration execution. During those 16 weeks, you’ll also engage the group of utilities and startups for project reviews and create awareness among others active in the utilities sector.


Demo Day celebrates all we achieved over the 16-week project period. You and the utility project lead will present the project and build interest in future engagement with EPRI and the participating utilities.


Participating Utilities

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI also provides technology, policy and economic analyses to drive long-range research and development planning, and supports research in emerging technologies. EPRI members represent 90% of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States with international participation extending to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lenox, Massachusetts.

The Incubatenergy® Network is made up of leading clean energy incubators and accelerators from around the world which support more than 1,000 early-stage companies working in clean energy, transportation, built environment, precision agriculture and other electrification-focused sectors. Through Incubatenergy, EPRI has facilitated hundreds of engagements of innovative startups collaborating with utilities and other industry stakeholders.