future grids

Energy Starter: EDP is looking for innovative start-ups to accelerate the future of electric grids

Saturday 26, August 2023
  • The first of the three tracks of the 8th edition of EDP's open innovation program is dedicated to Future Grids and startups can now apply until 24 September.
  • The selected start-ups will have the opportunity to work with EDP specialists across the globe to co-develop pilot projects and deals.

Energy Starter is back in search of startups and fast-growing technology companies (scaleups) from around the world with the most disruptive solutions to accelerate the development of three strategic areas for the future of the energy transition: future grids; renewables and green hydrogen; and client solutions and mobility.

Applications for the first module of this 8th edition of EDP's open innovation program – focused on the electric grids of the future – are now open and running until 24 September. To apply, simply submit your project via the Energy Starter website.

After the evaluation period (which includes an online pitch), the companies selected in this first track will then take part in a bootcamp, which will take place in Santander, Spain, between 28 and 30 November. During these days, participants will have the opportunity to present their solutions and discuss it with various EDP specialists from different business units and geographies with the aim of accelerating the co-development of pilot projects and deals.

The participant startups will also have contact with a large group of mentors and experts who, in addition to supporting the development of tests together with EDP, will provide relevant feedback to improve their solutions and business. In addition, they will have access to potential financial support and the experience and networking of EDP Ventures.

The 6 big challenges for grids

In this specific track, EDP is actively looking for companies and new solutions that contribute to more efficient, flexible, and reliable energy networks. Through partnerships with startups and scaleups in this area, the aim is not only to introduce innovation into existing infrastructures but also to explore new paths for growth – and these are the six main challenges that the projects must address:

  • Vegetation Management - new solutions to enhance the efficiency of data collection and processing for vegetation management in overhead powerlines;
  • Asset Management - technology solutions and models that improve the monitorization and prevention of potential failures in network assets;
  • Grid Flexibility – solutions that enable the DSOs to connect demand with flexibility providers and enable its monitoring and activation;
  • Safety and Health - solutions to apply in the work field by, for example, mitigating over-exertion, improving data collection, implementing security validations, etc;
  • Environmental Impact – equipment aimed at mitigating the impact of grids by diminishing carbon emissions and minimizing the reliance on fluorinated greenhouse gases (SF6).
  • Client Journey 2.0 - reimagine the user experience with DSOs by leveraging digital solutions such as generative AI, virtual agents, digital authentication, etc.

Electricity networks are a strategic growth area for EDP, with a global investment of ~€4 billion (representing 15% of the total gross investment of €25 billion) planned between 2023-2026, according to the latest Business Plan.

Open to all geographies, Energy Starter is looking for the most innovative and disruptive projects that promote new solutions to accelerate the energy transition. In addition to this first innovation module, dedicated to Future Grids, the program includes two more tracks: one on Renewable energy & Green Hydrogen and a final one on Client Solutions & Mobility. The program closes with a global Open Day event where the solutions developed in the different modules and the multiple challenges generated will be shared with the innovation ecosystem.

Over the last seven editions of Energy Starter, EDP has selected 183 startups from 27 countries, jointly developing 70 pilot projects and 27 rollouts that have already begun to reshape the energy landscape – projects that involved a total investment of €23 million. This record underlines EDP's success in promoting innovation through this strategic collaboration and reaffirms its commitment to developing sustainable technologies that promote a more sustainable and efficient energy future.

For more information on Energy Starter, see the information on the program's official website.