Charlotte Business Journal

Utility-scale battery developer Alevo and Tom McKittrick, who built the ReVenture Park eco-industrial site, came out on top at the first Energy Innovation Awards presented Thursday by CLT Joules.
They won the two big industry awards in online voting organized by the program to encourage energy startups in the region.

Alevo won the OPower Energy Innovation of the Year Award for the 1-megawatt GridBank battery systems it plans to produce in Concord starting this summer. The company, currently at 50 employees in its production plant, says it is on track to have 500 workers by the end of the year.

Long development

McKittrick of Forsite Development won the BDO Energy Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The ReVenture project at the former Clariant Corp. superfund site near Mount Holly took years to develop and faced several obstacles. It opened in August with two small biomass power plants totaling 3.3 megawatts, an electric-vehicle maker and a handful of other startups and small businesses.
Mark Boomgarden, a senior vice president at Charlotte technology company Akoustis, won the Sapient Global Markets Energy Mentor of the Year Award for his work with startups at CLT Joules. And Sarah Long, a math teacher at Alexander Graham Middle School, won the Areva Inspiration Award.

Annual event

CLT Joules Executive Director Lori Collins said that more than 8,800 votes were cast by the public on the CLT Joules website for the awards competition. She says CLT Joules was pleased with the response and plans to make the awards an annual event.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony Discovery Place. Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter opened the evening praising CLT Joules’ efforts in the region.”CLT Joules was created out of the need to find a way to support all of you who are developing the startups and the new businesses,” he told the more than 150 people gathered for the awards. “Your creativity and and innovation is driving the vitality of our city.”

The event was sponsored by the Charlotte offices of the companies named in the awards and Duke Energy.

Curtis Watkins, a project manager in Duke’s Emerging Technologies unit and the founder of CLT Joules, represented his company in awarding the four companies in CLT Joules first graduating class: International Thermodyne, KOYR, Sinewatts and Shift Equity.