Orion sparks emission reduction grant ideas

The Ministry of Awesome and Canterbury electricity lines company, Orion, have launched a national competition calling for new ideas to reduce New Zealand’s carbon emissions. 

The Orion Energy Accelerator is offering two start-up grants worth a combined $25,000 for people and start-up companies with ground-breaking energy innovations to be guided through a programme to validate and commercialise their idea. 

“The energy sector has a big role to play in addressing the climate crisis. It’s vital we explore how we can do things smarter and innovate faster,’’ says Orion General Manager, Customer and Stakeholder, Paul Deavoll.

“This country has a history of innovation in technology, and this is a call to action for our innovators to lend their thinking to solve the biggest issue threatening the future of the planet,” he said.

“We’re looking for leading-edge energy solutions that will help us move urgently towards a low-emission future.”

Marian Johnson of Ministry of Awesome says they are delighted to be working with Orion on this programme, to tap into their broad energy sector knowledge and experience.

“The accelerator will be a game-changer for all participants as they’ll be surrounded with support and guidance from some of the brightest minds in energy, technology and start-ups,’’ Ms Johnson says.

“Our goal is to ensure these teams step out of the programme having made progress with their start-up and ready to commercialise their solutions.”

The Orion Energy Accelerator competition is open to individuals and start-up companies with innovations across a range of energy sectors, including smart grids, e mobility, EV charging and energy storage, and affordable energy solutions.

Applications open today and close 30 April 2021. Eleven start-ups will be selected for the accelerator programme on 31 May, all will get the opportunity to pitch at a Demo Evening on 5 August. Applications are open now at www.orionaccelerator.nz

* Christchurch City Council has an 89.3% shareholding in Orion through Christchurch City Holdings Limited.