Welcome to Centered, a newsletter covering cleantech startups and innovation across the Midwest. Here are today’s headlines…
🔋 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’s batteries are already used in heavy-duty trucks but need to be significantly larger for potential marine applications.
- The Navy isn’t 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’s fleet faces steep technological hurdles.
☀️ SOLAR: A Purdue University-affiliated solar company has completed Indiana’s 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.
💸 ACQUISITION: Minnesota-based National Carbon Technologies announced it has acquired a Colorado company’s biocarbon business, including more than 50 patents. Cool Planet’s 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.
🚚 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.
📂 TECH TRANSFER: A pair of cleantech startups spun out of Ohio University’s 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.
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