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Free Electrons 2022

15 startups with solutions for energy transition chosen for this year's edition of Free Electrons

Wednesday 20, July 2022

The 6th edition of the largest global innovation programme in the electricity sector received applications from start-ups from 76 countries, demonstrating its scope and global interest. 15 finalists will present their solutions to EDP and other companies in the sector next week in Chicago.

The 15 start-ups that will take part in this year's edition of Free Electrons, the largest global innovation programme in the electricity sector, have already been chosen. Starting next week, the fifteen companies will present their innovative solutions to some of the largest global electricity companies, including EDP, in a module of Free Electrons which, in this edition, will be held in Chicago, in the United States of America.

The USA is also the country with the largest representation in the origin of the startups chosen, with finalists also from Australia, Canada, Spain, Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Tunisia. The 15 startups have solutions or pilot projects to contribute to the energy transition, and this year they are divided into startups with projects for energy networks, renewables, mobility, hydrogen, decarbonisation and energy storage.

Around 600 startups from 76 countries applied to the 6th edition of Free Electrons, presenting this edition with another truly global presence. Since the first edition, the programme has received over 3,500 applications from teams all over the world and generated €20 million in pilot projects, €30 million in the development of new products and services and another €30 million in direct investment.

For EDP, open and collaborative innovation with various agents in the sector is a priority to be able to develop the technologies and solutions that the sector needs to provide an urgent response to the energy transition. Over the coming weeks, these 15 finalists will have access to the various business units of the EDP group and to specialized teams, with whom they will be able to test their solutions. This is also an opportunity to refine their business strategy.

In this year's edition, the working modules between the chosen startups and the utilities will return to a face-to-face format, starting in June. After three phases of acceleration of ideas, the final of this edition will be organised by EDP in October in São Paulo, one of the capitals where the company has most developed its open innovation strategy. This is the first time a Free Electrons module will be held in that country.

Along with EDP, the global consortium includes American Electric Power (USA), CLP (Hong Kong, China), E. ON (Germany), ESB - Electricity Supply Board (Ireland) and Origin Energy (Australia). Management support is from the innovation consultancy Beta-i.

Top 15:

Blink Energy Inc | USA

Blink Energy Inc makes bundled hardware and software to make distant power line de-icing cost-efficient. A way for Energy Distribution Companies to save their lines from freezing temperatures and, consequently, people’s lives.

BrainBox AI – Community AI | Canada

Unique technology combining artificial intelligence and cloud computing to create the world’s first fully autonomous commercial HVAC solution, hence reducing a building’s HVAC energy spent and carbon footprint, while improving occupant’s comfort.

DCSix Technologies | Ireland

A simple to install, reliable, accurate and economical energy monitoring solution. The data provided from Wattrics coupled with the experience of the personnel at DCSix Technologies creates a rounded product and allows for engagement with market sectors not typically deploying energy monitoring or management. 

DeepVolt | Tunisia

AI-powered software for the placement and sizing of electric vehicle charging stations. It provides strategic planning insights including predicted charging demand, expected return on investment, and optimal combination with renewable energy.

eleXsys from Planet Ark Power | Australia

Radically increase the amount of DER the Distributions Grid can host for little or no cost to speed up global decarbonisation. an advanced power electronics device with integrated artificial intelligence (AI) software applications that enables next-generation two-way smart grids.

Gaiascope | USA

Gaiascope provides forecasting software for energy storage systems (ESS) that increases asset returns by up to 5-10x. In 2021, Gaiascope generated over 70% returns through active trading in wholesale markets using their forecast technology. 

IND Technology | Australia, USA

Their Early Fault Detection (EFD) system uses IoT architecture with edge-computing, smart sensors and cloud-based big data analysis to locate and classify incipient faults with extreme sensitivity to 10-meter accuracy on network segments.

IONATE | United Kingdom

Designed to enable a fundamentally future-proof energy transition through deep-tech innovation, integrating the system as it is. Their Hybrid Intelligent Transformers (HITs) equip key electricity players with the data and power flow control they need for the energy transition.


Providing smart maintenance for wind power Operation & Maintenance. They intend to contribute to environmental protection, even if only indirectly, by increasing the ratio of renewable energy to the energy we consume as much as possible.

NanoLock Security | USA

NanoLock device-level protection and management secures IoT and connected devices, such as smart meters against outsiders, insiders and supply chain cyber events, including human errors. 

Power to Hydrogen | USA

Power to Hydrogen is developing patent-protected, low-cost electrolyzers to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and long duration energy storage with hydrogen.

Rated Power | Spain

Their technology finds the smartest way to maximize the value of photovoltaic plants, scanning millions of iterations, finding the best configuration and immediately generating hundreds of pages of engineering documents.

Sawatch Labs | USA

EV Analytics Suite including tailpipe emissions calculations, vehicle specific EV recommendations, site specific EVSE (Electric vehicle supply equipment) energy demand projections, and operational analysis of EV already deployed.

Simerse AI | United Kingdom

Helping  electric utilities find defects on critical utility equipment using AI algorithms. Utilities face the common problem of not having enough images of defects to train AI for defect detection and Simerse comes to address that. 

SmartHelio Sarl | Switzerland

An end-to-end real-time analytics platform that reads the live data coming from solar plants, automatically identifies why the plant is under performing or will underperform. It will then prescribe actions to the companies with recommended timelines of action.