You’re gonna need a bigger battery for that boat…

Welcome to Centered, a newsletter covering cleantech startups and innovation across the Midwest. Here are today‚Äôs headlines…

Today’s headlines:

ūüĒ謆 BATTERIES:¬†A Joplin, Missouri, energy storage company announced¬†a $2.5 million contract¬†to develop and prototype scaled-up nickel-zinc battery cells.¬†ZAF Energy Systems¬†received the funding via a subcontract for a U.S. Navy research program. The company‚Äôs batteries are already used in heavy-duty trucks but need to be significantly larger for potential marine applications.

  • The Navy isn‚Äôt the only institution interested in electrifying marine travel. A research report last winter predicted electric ships would become¬†a $15.6 billion market by 2030.
  • Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry system in the U.S., plans to¬†gradually electrify its fleet, replacing 13 diesel-electric hybrids and converting six others to plug-in hybrids by 2040.
  • Large container ships represent a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions, but electrifying the world‚Äôs fleet faces¬†steep technological hurdles.

‚ėÄÔłŹ¬† SOLAR:¬†A Purdue University-affiliated solar company has completed Indiana‚Äôs¬†first bifacial roof-mounted solar project.¬†Emergent Solar Energy¬†built the 40-kilowatt system at a Valparaiso apartment building using two-sided solar panels that improve output by up to 15% over single-sided panels.

ūüíł¬†¬†ACQUISITION:¬†Minnesota-based¬†National Carbon Technologies¬†announced it has¬†acquired a Colorado company‚Äôs biocarbon business, including more than 50 patents.¬†Cool Planet‚Äôs investors have included Google, BP, General Electric, and ConocoPhillips. The company also announced the hiring of a chief operating officer and director of pyrolysis and thermal engineering.

⚡  SMART GRID: A Paris company has been awarded a contract to produce a high-temperature superconductor cable for ComEd’s Resilient Electric Grid project in Chicago. The project is part of a Homeland Security-backed effort to secure the electric grid against extreme weather and other catastrophic events.

LMC Endurance Interior Sketch 1 - June 2020

ūüöö¬†¬†ELECTRIC VEHICLES:¬†Ohio-based¬†Lordstown Motors¬†teases its Endurance all-electric pickup truck with¬†a series of sketches and renderings. The company is expected to officially unveil the vehicle on June 25. Meanwhile, fire and water damage restoration company SERVPRO said it would¬†order 1,200 of the vehicles.

ūüďā¬† TECH TRANSFER:¬†A pair of cleantech startups spun out of Ohio University‚Äôs¬†I-Corps@Ohio¬†program are¬†making progress on commercialization.¬†Paints from Pollution¬†has developed a wastewater treatment technology that can create paint pigment from acid mine drainage.¬†Ohio Construction Composites¬†is creating environmentally benign uses for coal as a filler material in decking composites.

Help us cover the Midwest cleantech economy. Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on Twitter @centereddottech.

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