State grants awarded to cleantech start-ups in Cambridge and Somerville

Representative Mike Connolly is pleased by the announcement of $505,000 in state funding for eight early-stage clean energy companies, including two companies here in Cambridge and Somerville's 26th Middlesex district.

The funding, which comes from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Catalyst and AccelerateMass programs, will support Camberline Technologies in Cambridge, Exact Lux in Somerville, and six other companies in Amesbury, Boston, and other parts of Cambridge and Somerville.  

The two awardees from our district will each receive a $65,000 grant through the Catalyst program:

  • Camberline Technologies of Cambridge is developing prototypes of its real-time, after-market electricity meter, which will read household electricity usage and support energy conservation practices.
  • Exact Lux of Somerville is developing long-lasting, consistent LED lighting technology for indoor horticulture to increase yields and save energy on lighting.

MassCEC may invest an additional $100,000 in these companies if they reach specific business objectives that may include producing prototypes, securing customer orders, hiring key personnel, and raising additional capital. The Catalyst Program, which is jointly administered by MassCEC and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, provides grants to researchers and early-stage companies seeking to demonstrate proof of concept or develop a prototype for a technology. Since launching in 2010, Catalyst has awarded $4.47 million to 95 new companies and research teams. Past awardees have raised over $200 million in follow-on funding.

"I am proud to support the efforts we are making in Massachusetts to invest in new technologies to help combat climate change, and so I’m excited to highlight the work of Camberline Technologies in Cambridge and Exact Lux in Somerville," said State Representative Mike Connolly.  "I’m very hopeful with the help of this investment these startups will go on to advance our shared goal of building a brighter, greener future, and I want to thank the Baker Administration, my legislative colleagues, and the Clean Energy Center for being committed in their support of cleantech start-ups in Cambridge and Somerville." 

According to the 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, the clean energy sector in Massachusetts has grown 84 percent since 2010 and employs 110,700 workers across the state. The Massachusetts clean energy sector is a $13.2 billion industry, representing about 2.5 percent of the state’s overall economy.

"Massachusetts is a national leader for clean energy, and this program helps ensure the Commonwealth stays on the cutting edge of clean energy technology development," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "To achieve our ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, we must empower our start up community to pursue groundbreaking innovations and accelerate commercial-ready technologies to the market."

MassCEC is funded by the Renewable Energy Trust, which was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1998. A systems benefit charge paid by customers of investor owned utilities and five municipal electric departments that have opted into the program funds the trust.

"MassCEC helps early stage companies overcome the financial challenges inherent in developing innovative ideas," said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. "By working with local universities and accelerators, we can support a network of motivated entrepreneurs that are committed to developing next generation solutions to our ever evolving climate change challenges."

Last July, Rep. Connolly voted to enact H.4857An Act to Advance Clean Energy, which increases the Commonwealth’s energy storage target to 1,000 megawatt hours, increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard, expands the Mass Save programs to allow for strategic electrification and other clean energy technologies, and authorizes the Department of Energy Resources to require an additional 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind to be procured by the electric distribution companies in Massachusetts. While these are all very important steps forward, Rep. Connolly is strongly committed to more transformative proposals to address the climate emergency, such as 100% renewables, a carbon tax, and the Green New Deal pending in Congress.