Veolia North America, the company providing district energy to the Boston area, announced that it has become a Terawatt Sponsor of Somerville’s Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest cleantech incubator. Working with Veolia will enable entrepreneurs at Greentown Labs to access the experience, advice and network of professionals at the world’s largest environmental services and technology company to help them solve some of the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges.
Greentown Labs helps cleantech and energy-focused startups with the resources they need to move from prototyping products and services to pilot testing and first customers. Based three-and-a-half miles from downtown Boston, Greentown Labs offers 33,000 sq ft of prototyping lab as well as a machine shop and 3-D printer. With more than 40 member companies on site and a global community of cleantech and energy entrepreneurs, Greentown Labs provides the education, mentorship and guidance to help entrepreneurs rapidly grow their networks and companies.
“There is a lot of excitement right now with hardware incubators and accelerators,” said Laurent Auguste, Veolia’s senior EVP Innovation & Markets, who developed the partnership and leads Veolia’s global innovation and R&D efforts. “As these entrepreneurs know, new tools are making it possible to make dramatic and exciting innovations in the energy space. We are excited to match our expertise with their fresh perspectives to better resource the world with smart energy services and technologies.”
Veolia manages a network of district energy steam pipes that deliver environmentally-friendly energy—or “Green Steam”—to the downtown Boston/Cambridge area. This innovative environmental solution utilizes advanced cogeneration technology to recapture and reuse thermal energy previously lost to the environment, reducing the Boston area’s greenhouse gas emissions by 475,000 tons annually (the equivalent of removing 80,000 cars from the roads) and reducing non-transportation carbon emissions for both cities by six percent.
“As an environmental service company that provides district energy to approximately 250 customers in the central business district of Boston and the Longwood Medical Area as well as the biotechnology corridor of Cambridge, we know what it’s like to manage the challenges of meeting a large population’s energy needs every day,” said William J. DiCroce, president and COO of Veolia North America’s Municipal & Commercial Business. “We also know the importance of innovation and fresh ideas in the environmental sector, which is why we’re looking forward to partnering with the innovative startups at Greentown Labs.”
Veolia has committed to the Terawatt Sponsor level and will embed an environmental professional at Greentown Labs to support potential opportunities to train, partner, technically and possibly financially support member entrepreneurs and their ideas. Yann Moreau, Veolia research & innovation director, North America, will sit on the Greentown Labs advisory board.
“Corporations like Veolia are very important partners for Greentown Labs, not only because of the financial support they offer, but also through the resources, knowledge, expertise and investments in member companies they bring to the table. They provide the nourishment that helps our companies grow,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “Veolia brings a very unique skillset to the entrepreneurs at Greentown Labs with their work running district energy systems and reducing carbon emissions for the Boston area. Veolia’s local expertise with the area’s municipal and commercial customers gives our cleantech entrepreneurs access to a wealth of energy experience.”