Current Commercialization Projects
ESN projects seek to accelerate technology commercialization and deliver systems solutions that address key energy challenges while establishing new market opportunities.
Our projects draw on a rich diversity of established and emerging companies, universities, and institutions that collectively make up a world-class energy technology cluster with expertise that includes advanced technology vehicles, distributed power generation, biofuels, renewable energy, advanced transmission, and energy efficiency.
ESN assembles project teams by drawing on our core members’ strengths, and we bring in additional partners to fill technology or resource gaps. Project development and implementation is coordinated by ESN often in tandem with a partner serving as lead integrator.
To date, ESN has launched four successful projects through the leading expertise and collaborative efforts of our partner organizations:
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Military Base Energy Strategy
The U.S. Department of Defense has outlined ambitious energy efficiency goals for military bases by the year 2020, including the reduction of fossil fuels, water resource management and greenhouse gas emissions. In order to meet these goals, ESN organized several partners to develop a comprehensive energy plan for Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane (NSWC Crane) located in southern Indiana. The goal is to thoroughly evaluate the naval base’s current energy needs and uses and formulate an energy strategy master plan to achieve a systems-level model that could later be replicated at other land bases. The plan will incorporate implementation of individual components into a unified, scalable, fundable model that includes public private partnerships. Current partners include the Battery Innovation Center, Cummins, Duke Energy, ITOCHU Corporation, MISO, Purdue University and Toshiba.
Data Center Backup Power
Currently most backup power systems are underutilized or stranded assets. This project will integrate backup power supply as a distributed generation resource optimized with primary grid power. The project partners plan to explore how siting data centers near a large renewable generation source with battery storage can alleviate high voltage transmission congestion and result in a cleaner energy supply for the data center. Current partners include the Battery Innovation Center, Cummins, Duke Energy, ITOCHU Corporation, MISO and Toshiba.
Natural Gas Fleet Initiative
ESN plans to target three separate activities through this initiative to maximize outreach.
- Mid-haul Fleet Pilot: Organize a real world fleet pilot for mid-haul fleets in the Midwest using best-of-class truck and fueling technology, and including the full spectrum of support services (e.g., maintenance, leasing/financing, data collection, etc.). The pilot would seek to validate ROI of using natural gas in at least three separate mid-haul market segments including food and beverage, lighter than load (LTL), and dedicated carrier service.
- Transition Toolkit: Develop and publish a website tool that will serve as a template for different market segments within the trucking industry (not municipalities, transit, etc.) to assist them with the transition to natural gas. In addition to general information relevant to all market segments, the toolkit would include resources to show operators if and how natural gas would work for their specific fleet drive-cycles.
- Customer Coalition: Establish a coalition of leading manufacturing and logistics companies in the Midwest that will commit to a percentage of their product shipped using natural gas. Goal will be to work with this coalition to have an honest and data-driven conversation about reaching the percentage goals and be transparent about the need to share cost savings between the fleet operator and the customer appropriately to ensure both sides have a positive ROI.
Project Plug-IN 2.0
After initial success of Project Plug-IN (link to PPIN page), initiated in 2009, ESN has partnered with the City of Indianapolis and Mayor Greg Ballard to accelerate the adoption of plug-in vehicles in the city through two separate initiatives.
- BlueIndy all-electric carsharing program: ESN joined together with the City of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) to bring French multinational company Bolloré Group’s all-electric carsharing business model to the city. A demonstration site was launched in May 2014 in downtown Indianapolis, and the program is expected to be operational by the fall of 2015. Upon full deployment, the carsharing service will include 1,000 charging stations and 500 electric vehicles at approximately 200 locations across the Indianapolis area.
- Vision Fleet and the City’s Municipal Fleet Transition to All Plug-In Vehicles by 2025: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard recently announced in an executive order that the city’s municipal fleet will be converted to all plug-in vehicles by 2025. ESN served as a strategic partner to Vision Fleet, Inc. which is leading this transition through an innovative “total cost of ownership” business model, allowing the city to achieve its goal of converting to all PEVs while simultaneously saving the city money. The City of Indianapolis will have 425 plug-in vehicles in its fleet by the end of 2016.
Smart Pole LED Lighting
Research and partner recruitment is ongoing for this innovative application of LED lighting to be combined with other unique technologies that people want to use, and are located where people want to use them. Shopping malls, parking lots, congested traffic areas – all of these locations can be considered for not only better quality lighting, but also as options for Wi-Fi, mobile broadband access, smart sensors, even electric vehicle charging. Current partners include Duke Energy, Purdue University and Toshiba.
If your organization is interested in collaborating on one or more of these initiatives – or you have a new project to recommend – please contact us.