Energy Excelerator operates as a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR). PICHTR was founded in 1983 to tackle the challenges of Hawaii’s oil dependency. In 2008, the state adopted one of the most aggressive renewable energy standards by setting a goal of 70% clean energy by 2030. We began working to support energy innovation in Hawaii through a program called Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture, which funded energy innovation with $9M of support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Through this experience we listened to our companies and learned they needed more than funding and a place to grow – they needed strategic relationships that would accelerate their path to success. From these conversations, the Energy Excelerator was born in January 2013. In August 2013, the Navy’s Office of Naval Research tripled our funding to $30M. We’re now taking a place-based approach to investing in and fostering the best innovation companies from all over the U.S. to showcase their solutions in Hawaii.