GE Puts Up Serious Cash For Smart Grid Ideas

pylons smart grid electricity photo

photo via flickr

General Electric, along with four venture capital firms, is putting up some serious cash for innovators that can help with the development of a smart grid--a networked energy system that increases efficiency and allows for more renewable energy to come into the power grid. The competition, known as the Ecomagnination Challenge, has $200 million and will be judged by GE, RockPort Capital, K.P.C.B., Foundation Capital and Emerald Technology. GE CEO Jeff Immelt wants the competition to foster smart grid innovation here and around the globe: "We know how to make things, we know how to sell things, we know how to service things. We have a big brand, so let's go."

From the indispensable New York Times Green blog:

From now until Sept. 30, budding smart-grid entrepreneurs will be able to submit their proposals in one of three areas that the investors see as central to ramping up use of renewables:

• Maximizing penetration of clean energy into the grid.

• Improving the efficiency of the grid.

• Helping electricity customers use energy more wisely.

The most popular idea, which people can vote on, will receive $50,000, and five more chose by the committee will receive $500,000 each. Not too shabby.

How it works, from GE:

After registering, you may enter as many ideas as you wish in the three categories: Renewables, Grid Efficiency and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings between July 13 and September 30, 2010. Your entry should include a detailed proposal describing a smart grid technology that is both innovative and proprietary.

More on smart grid:
Smart Grid Spending To Plateau at $35 Billion in 3 Years : TreeHugger
Smart Grid + Demand Response = Underrated Renewable Energy Storage?