CalCharge Has New Leader & Partner

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Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Photo by Daniel Parks available on Flickr)

Before CalCharge launched in 2014, it could take months for an energy storage startup to test and know whether a new idea was feasible. But CalCharge came along and fixed the mismatch. The public-private partnership organization dedicated to advancing energy storage has excelled at developing new technology through its partnership with national labs.

And now with Alex Luce as its new program manager and NAATBatt International as its new partner, CalCharge is broadening its reach into the commercialization and adoption of energy storage technology.

Before joining CalCharge, Luce was part of the team that launched MOSAIC, a $24 million program to bring micro-systems technology to solar energy. He also did market research for Prelude Ventures and worked for SkyDeck, the UC Berkeley startup accelerator. Luce’s expertise bringing new technology to market is helpful for CalCharge members looking to sell their energy storage advancements to consumers.

As program manager Luce has already helped CalCharge partner with NAATBatt, North America’s leading battery trade association. NAATBatt’s focus is on the commercialization of advanced battery technology. It’s looking to CalCharge to give its members better access to exciting new technology developments coming out of California.

“Our aim is really to broaden the reach for both organizations,” Luce told me. “With NAATBatt’s expertise and their membership base we can augment both organizations.”

CalCharge’s growth is good news for energy storage, renewable energy, and the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, it announced a partnership with Southern California Edison and the University of California, San Diego. And Luce told me we can expect another big announcement about a partnership with a large energy provider in the coming weeks.

But Luce stressed that all this growth wouldn’t change the mission of CalCharge. “Our core value proposition is not changing at all,” he said. “We still see ourselves as a sandbox where big thinkers and doers in energy storage can come together. We’ve always been a very cross-cutting organization and we’re going to continue to be the center of gravity for energy storage in California.”

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