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Free Electrons

Free Electrons is the ultimate open innovation programme, connecting start-ups with the world’s leading energy utilities. ESB is a founding member of the programme, working with six golobal utility partners; American Electric Power (USA), China Light & Power (China), EDP (Portugal), E.On (Germany), Hydro Québec (Canada), & Origin Energy (Australia).

The utility partners participating in Free Electrons are leaders in the clean energy transition extending across more than 40 countries, with access to over 82 million customers worldwide, and representing over $173 billion in combined revenue. The collaborative nature and spirit of the programme has brought together partnerships between all stakeholders and innovators of the programme and will continue as pilots mature into long-term contracts and investment.


Now in its seventh year, the programme has established itself as the world-leading innovation platform for energy-related start-ups. The programme typically runs from March to October each year with applications opening from November to January. Free Electrons addresses and solves real innovation challenges leading to new business opportunities and its quality and impact on the participating start-ups and utilities has been growing year on year.

If you would like to learn more about the programme you can visit the Free Electrons website ( or follow the Free Electrons journey on LinkedIn where updates and announcements are posted regularly (Free Electrons Programme: LinkedIn).