Free Electrons: Meet the partners and what they are looking for! (Part 1)

February 18, 2019

Free Electrons is a truly global accelerator backed up by an alliance of energy utilities, committed to supporting energy entrepreneurs and startups to transform the energy market with next-generation ideas.

American Electric Power

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy.

Joining the Free Electrons accelerator program gives us access to the world’s most innovative technology entrepreneurs in the energy space. Our long-term strategy includes building smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom products and services to our customers. We’re excited to help cultivate the cutting-edge energy solutions that are being developed around the globe.

Nicholas K. Akins
Chairman, President and CEO, AEP


AusNet Services

A major player in the Australian energy industry. We are Victoria’s largest energy delivery service business owning and operating approximately $11 billion of electricity and gas distribution assets that connect into more than 1.3 million Victorian homes and businesses. The energy landscape is transforming and so are we. We are looking for new ways to move energy with significant investment in creating energy solutions to meet tomorrows.

What are they looking for?

  • Ways to make the core business more efficient: ways to run the networks,  particularly in distribution, more efficiently, and the ways the business can commercially benefit from new opportunities;
  • New business models.

We are passionate about helping entrepreneurs bring their technologies, ideas and products to the global marketplace, and look forward to mentoring them as they turn their energy start-ups into viable businesses that enable us to transform the energy industry globally.

Chad Hymas
Executive General Manager,
AusNet Services


CLP was founded in Hong Kong in 1901, at a time when electricity was still a novelty worldwide. Today we power millions of homes and businesses across the Asia Pacific regions. In Hong Kong, we operate a vertically-integrated electricity supply business providing a highly-reliable supply of electricity to 80% of the city’s population. Outside Hong Kong, we invest in the energy sector in Mainland China, India, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Australia. Our business includes power generation, transmission and distribution, and electricity and gas retail activities. Our goal is to meet Asia-Pacific’s energy challenge in a sustainable manner from one generation to the next.

What are they looking for?

  • Microgrids, energy storage, distributed energy, solutions for the home for consumers;
  • Energy management in buildings today – so that developers, management, tenants can have visibility and control of how they consume energy and how they move to lower carbon intensity and a better sustainability footprint.

The Free Electrons Accelerator Program enables CLP to work with some of the world’s smartest and most dynamic innovators on solutions to the 21st century’s digital energy challenges. With our industry leadership across the Asia Pacific markets, spanning Greater China to Australia, CLP is excited by the opportunity to partner with the best start-ups to create transformative new energy technologies and applications for individuals, businesses, cities and governments.

Austin Bryan
Senior Director – Innovation,
CLP Holdings Limited

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

DEWA is committed to promoting Dubai’s vision through the delivery of sustainable electricity and water services at a world-class level of reliability, efficiency and safety in an environment that nurtures innovation with a competent workforce and effective partnerships; supporting the sustainability of resources.

What are they looking for?

  • New revenue streams;
  • AI, data-based services.

Dubai is at the centre of a region that is emerging as a major force in the global economy, and it is seen as a leader in promoting innovation, sustainability and economic diversity. Dubai is keen to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve a green economy. Public-private partnerships are key to this, as is the goal to make Dubai a global hub for green finance and a green economy

His Excellency Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

ESB is Ireland’s leading energy company, operating across the full spectrum of the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to supply. In addition, ESB extracts further value at certain points along this chain: supplying gas, using our networks to carry fiber for telecommunications, developing electric vehicle public charging infrastructure and an international consultancy arm which has worked in 120 countries globally.

What are they looking for?

  • Decarbonization;
  • Finding new smart solutions for their customers.

We are excited about the prospect of working with a pool of startups from across the world, learn from them and offer them the opportunity to trial and develop their products/services in Ireland and the UK. At ESB we are very focused on bringing new cutting edge solutions to our customer base.

Jerry O’Sullivan
ESB Deputy Chief Executive

Can’t get enough of the amazing opportunities mentioned by the partners in Free Electrons? Get to know the other 5 partners here.