Participants compete on ways to transform the electrical grid to combat climate change, benefit Bay Area communities
San Francisco – How would you accelerate the transformation to a smart, clean and equitable electrical grid of the future? That’s the question 100 hackers competed to address at the GridShift Hackathon, held at the Google Developers Launchpad on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The hackathon, put on by Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), sought to capitalize on local ingenuity and expertise in solving three key challenges: help customers better understand the cost and environmental impact of their energy usage; support customers in understanding their resiliency and how to enhance it; and accelerate the equitable adoption of electric vehicles.
The winning team, Grove, received a $10,000 prize for an easy-to-use interface that allows for smart, automated scheduling for flexible electrical loads. The second place award of $4,000 went to Green Routes for an app to help EV drivers find local electric vehicle charging stations to optimize for carbon, cost and/or convenience; and the $2,000 People’s Choice award, voted on by attendees, was awarded to WattsDown for an app that connects to a color-changing, smart light in residents’ homes to notify them when electricity prices are high and when there is a planned power shut-off in their neighborhood. The full list of participants and submissions can be found at the event website, gridshift.devpost.com.
“We saw a lot of innovative thinking about different ways to tackle the issues of resiliency, equity and access as we transform the grid,” said SVCE Board Chair and Saratoga Mayor Howard Miller. “It’s in our best interest to engage the talented minds in our community to generate the best ideas and think creatively about solutions that will benefit residents and businesses and will help us achieve our goals to impact climate change.”
The participants formed teams on Friday, hacked for 24 hours, and presented their pitches Saturday night. Participants included software engineers, consultants, UX designers, product managers, students, sales engineers, data scientists, air quality specialists, and financial analysts from organizations including UC Davis, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Tesla, Sunrun, and several local climatetech start-ups.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy hosted the hackathon with support from Powerhouse. Sponsors included East Bay Community Energy, City of Palo Alto Utilities, Peninsula Clean Energy and San Jose Clean Energy.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org.
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