Funds for Microgrid Startups…JLM secures $25M…Making Solar Cybersecure

Sept. 27, 2017
Funding for NYC microgrid startups…JLM Energy secures $25M in project finance…National lab tackles solar inverter cybersecurity
Funding for NYC microgrid startups

New York’s Urban Future Lab is now offering $50,000 awards plus incubation guidance for microgrid startups and other smart grid entrepreneurial efforts.

Sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the clean tech incubation program helps scale new technologies.

Called the Urban Future Competition, the program offers incubation awards under three tracks: smart grid, smart mobility and smart city.

Microgrid startups have the opportunity to secure awards through the program’s smart grid track, which also seeks technologies related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and distributed generation.

The smart mobility track seeks technology related to electric vehicles (EVs) and EV infrastructure solutions, high performance and low carbon vehicle materials, autonomous vehicle technology and mobility artificial intelligence, digital tools and similar solutions.

The smart city track applies to businesses working in urban infrastructure and resiliency, Internet of Things, sensor networks, analytics, and similar technology.

In addition to the cash awards, winners have the opportunity to scale their businesses within ACRE, New York’s longest running cleantech incubator program, which has helped companies raise more than $340 million.

The Urban Future Competition is accepting applications until December 1. For more information and to apply, see

[clickToTweet tweet=”Funds Available from Urban Future Lab for #Microgrid Startups” quote=”Funds Available from Urban Future Lab for #Microgrid Startups”]

JLM Energy secures $25M in project finance

JLM Energy secured $25 million to finance distributed energy storage projects for commercial & industrial (C&I) customers.

Arranged by GoldenSet Capital Partners as subadvisor to the North Sky Alliance Fund II, the funding will be used to finance energy services and accelerate adoption of JLM’s distributed energy storage platform Phazr.

The facility is expected to be fully committed by Q3 of 2018.

CohnReznick Capital was the advisor to JLM Energy in this transaction.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#JLM Energy secures $25M in project finance” quote=”JLM Energy secures $25M in project finance”]

National lab tackles solar inverter cybersecurity

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is working on a project to make solar inverters more cybersecure using a blocking method analogous to how noise-canceling headphones work.

Under a $2.5 million Department of Energy grant, researchers are developing algorithms that use the system in the same way as hackers, but send opposite signals to nullify the attack, according to a news release issued by the Berkeley Lab.

“If an attacker tries to manipulate the settings in a number of PV inverters, we’ll observe these manipulations, then identify the settings in PV inverters that have not been hacked, and finally, dispatch the appropriate settings to the inverters deemed safe in order to counter that attack,” said Daniel Arnold, a Berkeley Lab researcher and engineer who is one of the leads of the project.

The lab is concerned about cyber vulnerabilities that might arise as industry and government develop standards for inverter communication with the grid.

“It is this standardization that presents a vulnerability,” said Arnold.

Berkeley Lab is teaming with several partners on this project, including Siemens, OSISoft, SunSpec Alliance, SolarEdge, HDPV Alliance, Power Standards Lab, Arizona State University, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

“As we modernize the grid, our belief is that we, as a society, can enjoy all of the benefits of large amounts of distributed PV, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a more resilient system, and still have a secure network that is potentially more robust to cyber intrusions than it was before the introduction of large amounts of distributed PV,” Arnold said.

[clickToTweet tweet=”National lab tackles #solar inverter #cybersecurity” quote=”National lab tackles solar inverter cybersecurity”]

Track news about microgrid startups, financing and cybersecurity. Follow Microgrid Knowledge on twitter @MicrogridNews .

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Exploring the Potential of Community Microgrids Through Three Innovative Case Studies

April 8, 2024
Community microgrids represent a burgeoning solution to meet the energy needs of localized areas and regions. These microgrids are clusters of interconnected energy resources,...


Microgrid Controllers: Rapid Relief for Today’s Dynamic Grid

This white paper explores six ways in which microgrid controllers can solve common challenges that the modern grid faces, including improving resiliency.