2021 Cohort  | October 19 & 20

Join us for this two-day event to hear about the outcomes from our 2021 Cohort ---

20 startup+utility+EPRI teams demonstrating innovations aimed at tackling the biggest challenges in grid modernization, decarbonization, resilience, and more, at scale, in a utility setting. This event is free and open to the public – we hope you can join us! 


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.

Apply for 2021 Here

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
  • 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 have access to 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 the U.S.

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.

ken patrick

Ameren, Senior Manager, Electrification Policy and Innovation

Ram Sastry

AEP, VP Innovation and Technology

Amy Burke Henry

TVA, Director of Transformative Innovation

Mark McGranaghan

EPRI, Fellow


IncubatenergyLabs is focused on the following innovation challenges:

Accelerating Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the Electric Power Industry via AI.EPRI

EPRI seeks to harness the capabilities of AI and accelerate its implementation in the electric power industry through the AI.EPRI initiative. The vision of AI.EPRI is to be the AI catalyst for tomorrow’s energy system. AI.EPRI is seeking solutions to utilize AI tools and technologies to provide utilities with capabilities not available today such as making better decisions faster, automating repetitive tasks, or providing deeper insights into large data sets. Specific topics leverage the EPRI10 data sets, focused on the integrated grid, generating plant operations and maintenance data, and environmental issues (see, among others. The results from these projects could improve safety, reduce costs and time associated with electricity generation, improve demand flexibility, improve system reliability for customers, and reduce environmental impacts.

Digital Utility

With the growth in renewables, distributed energy systems and electrification, modeling and managing our grid is more important than ever. Digital overlays are fundamentally transforming the electric power system and we seek solutions that provide more automated and data-driven operations, maintenance, and planning while building a safer, more efficient, equitable, decentralized, and decarbonized grid that better serves our customers.

Decarbonization and Sustainability

There is a worldwide push to decarbonize and the electric power industry is leading the charge. Since 2005, the US reduced its carbon footprint one gigaton by switching from coal to gas, 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 and nuclear. We need to address intermittency challenges of increased renewable energy penetration, integrate storage and manage distributed energy resources in a manner that improves the operation and planning of the electricity grid while maintaining quality and reliability for customers and communities. To achieve deep decarbonization by 2050, we need long-duration storage, storage, low carbon fuels and energy carriers, advanced nuclear reactors and effective carbon capture. In each of these areas, we need to deploy with sustainable materials, keeping recycling and circularity in mind.


Electrification is key component of the strategy to decarbonize; in transportation, building systems and industrial processes. Building efficiencies have delivered tremendous benefits for years and continue to represent one of the largest opportunities for energy savings. Electrifying our transportation sector is also now at the forefront in reducing carbon emissions economy-wide. To accelerate electrification, we are seeking solutions that leverage data analytics, provide customer insights and enable management to increase customer satisfaction and reduce grid impact.

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 customer needs, provide more personalized communications, offer targeted services, and deliver the information they need and the services they value. Bring us your solutions that help us engage our customers and communities and empower them to become more proactive and informed participants in a cleaner, more integrated energy system.


Fires, extreme weather and flooding 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 predict localized events, prevent outages where possible and, when they happen, communicate with our customers and restore power quickly.


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’d like to see what you have in this space.


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!



EPRI & Utility Subject Matter Experts will then screen applications thru February 2021.


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 utility 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 2021 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.