Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster Announces Finalists for 2023 Cleantech Innovation Awards

Winners in each category will be announced Thursday, November 16th at an awards ceremony and networking event with Platinum Sponsor Power Secure and hosted at the SAS Institute in Cary, NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 24, 2023) – Finalists for the Fifth Annual Cleantech Innovation Awards have been announced by the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC), an initiative of business, government, academic, and nonprofit leaders focused on accelerating the growth of the regional and statewide cleantech economy.

The awards are judged by leaders and executives from the cleantech sector, and the winners in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony and networking reception to be held Thursday, November 16th from 4:30 to 8:00pm at the SAS Institute in Cary, NC. This year’s Platinum Sponsor is PowerSecure, the leading supplier of microgrids in the United States, and the Host Sponsor is the SAS Institute, a global leader in AI and analytics software. Registration is now open for the event.

“Our Cleantech Innovation Award finalists represent an incredible group of teams, companies, academic institutions, and municipalities helping to move North Carolina toward a more sustainable, healthy future through cleantech innovations and deployments,” said Dr. Deb Wojcik, Executive Director of RTCC. “We congratulate all finalists for their important contributions to cleantech innovation, and we look forward to connecting with our North Carolina cleantech colleagues at the event.”

“We are honored to support this event celebrating the extraordinary advances in innovation and deployment in North Carolina’s cleantech sector as Platinum Sponsor of the Cleantech Innovation Awards” said Andrew Wall, PowerSecure’s Senior VP and Chief Commercial Officer. “As the nation’s leading distributed energy innovation company, we are proud of our Durham roots and enthusiastic about the many projects and people transforming the cleantech sector across North Carolina and beyond.”     

The finalists for each category are alphabetically listed below:

Cleantech Impact: Energy – Recognizes an energy project that applies cleantech to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include innovations to existing grid infrastructure to enhance resiliency, renewable energy installations, microgrid deployments, or innovative energy efficiency programs.
2023 Finalists:

  • 8 Rivers – 8RH2 Low Carbon Hydrogen Generation Technology
  • Array Circular Design Consulting and Real Estate Experts
  • Duke Energy – Hotsprings Microgrid (Madison County)

Cleantech Impact: Local Government – Recognizes a local government or governments that have effectively leveraged resources and partnerships to complete an innovative project or initiative deploying cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include smart city technology deployments, collaborative stormwater management agreements, collaborative solar projects, or cross-departmental teams addressing climate change or cleantech adoption or deployment.
2023 Finalists:

  • Central Pines Regional Council – Solarize the Triangle
  • Town of Cary Utilities – Energy & Greenhouse Gas Inventory Audit

Cleantech Impact: Transportation – Recognizes a transportation or mobility project that uses innovative cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include successful fleet electrification projects, EV charging deployments, microtransit initiatives, or efforts to enhance the energy efficiency of mass transit systems.
2023 Finalists:

  • Hollar & Greene Produce / Surrey Yadkin EMC – Electric Transport Refrigeration Unit Pilot
  • Southeast Electric Transportation Regional Initiative (SETRI) – Southeast Portal for Electric Transportation Opportunities
  • Town of Cary – Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI) program

Cleantech Impact: Water – Recognizes a water, wastewater, or stormwater project that applies cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include deployment of smart metering solutions at scale, application of data to identify opportunities for water conservation, or innovative technology deployments that improve water quality and the environment.

2023 Finalists:

  • City of Raleigh – Raleigh Water Sewer Main Failure Prediction Analysis
  • Reynolds American – Reynolds WaterHub
  • Wake County – One Water Plan

Cleantech Research Innovation Award – Recognizes an individual or team from industry or within an institution of higher learning that is pursuing a research-based solution to a pressing cleantech challenge, working toward commercialization of a research-based cleantech innovation, or spearheading a new collaboration between research and industry.
2023 Finalists:

  • Dr. Aram Amassian, NC State University – RoboMapper
  • Dr. Mike Muglia, NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program – Marine Energy
  • Dr. Wensong Yu, NC State University – NC Solar Inverters (NCSI)

Cleantech Talent Development Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has made a significant contribution to developing talent, providing professional development, or fostering employment opportunities that support the cleantech industry in the region or state. Examples may include a corporate apprenticeship or internship program, a community college or university certificate in clean technologies, or K-12 curriculum or outreach program.

2023 Finalists:

  • North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) Clean Energy Training Program
  • U.S. EPA-RTP Community Engagement & STEM Education (CE-STEM) Program’s Summer Science Institute

Equity in Cleantech Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has demonstrated a strong commitment to equity in the implementation of a cleantech project. Examples may include deployments that focus specifically on the equitable availability of cleantech solutions, initiatives that address existing inequalities through new cleantech investments, and stakeholder engagement processes specifically designed to promote inclusion in planning or implementation processes.
2023 Finalists:

  • City of Durham – Bull E-Bike Pilot
  • HBCU Clean Energy Initiative

Diversity in Cleantech Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has made significant contributions to ensuring the cleantech workforce reflects the people it serves, pursues organizational approaches that are inclusive of a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, or actively supports employees’ sense of belonging within the organization. Examples may include targeted efforts to help underrepresented groups explore cleantech career opportunities, corporate programs designed to recruit and support underrepresented employees, or inclusion-focused mentoring or networking initiatives.
2023 Finalists:

  • City of Raleigh – Partnership Raleigh Community Climate Intern program and Conservation Intern Program
  • Hitachi Energy North American Empower Network for Employee Resource Groups
  • NC Clean Energy Technology Center – NIST-RACER: Building Pandemic Resilience in Native American Communities

The following awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on November 16th:

Cleantech Champion of the Year – Recognizes an individual who exemplifies a deep commitment to advancing the cleantech industry in their local community, the Research Triangle region, or statewide. Achievements may include demonstrated dedication to cleantech innovation or adoption, business expansion or relocation, development of high-impact technology, or spearheading regional/cross-sectoral collaboration to drive innovation.

Cleantech Entrepreneur Award – Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated innovation through the development of new technology or advancing existing technology that has the potential to disrupt traditional industries, create a cleaner planet, and improve the quality of life for people here in North Carolina or around the world.

Cleantech Impact: Economic Development Recognizes a cleantech organization that has accelerated economic growth in the region or state. Examples may include a cleantech business that has relocated to the region or state, an organization that has made a significant impact through the application of clean technologies, or an organization that has enabled cleantech economic growth.

RTCC also recognizes the contributions of the 2023 Cleantech Innovation Awards’ sponsors, including the Platinum Sponsor, Power Secure; Host Sponsor, SAS Institute; Gold Sponsor, Hitachi Energy; and Silver Sponsor, Duke Energy. Additional sponsorships are available. Organizations interested in sponsoring this event can contact

Registration is currently open to join the celebration on Thursday, November 16th from 4:30pm to 8:00pm at the SAS Institute in Cary, NC.

About Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC)
The mission of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is to accelerate growth and leadership of the cleantech economy, leveraging the unique concentration of industry, academic, and government leaders in the Research Triangle to create benefits through innovation, deployment, and talent in the region, North Carolina, and beyond.

About PowerSecure
PowerSecure, a Southern Company subsidiary, is the nation’s leading distributed energy innovation company with +2GW of microgrid capacity developed, installed, managed, and serviced over the past 20 years, resulting in more than $900 million in energy efficiency upgrades. PowerSecure’s full-facility, lifecycle approach through production and management, delivers clean and resilient energy to customers at the best possible value. Combining product innovation capabilities with a 360 integrated delivery model enables innovative energy transition solutions to be deployed effectively and efficiently to provide custom solutions for customers’ power requirements.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Deb Wojcik
Executive Director
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

Media contact:
Chris Burke
BtB Marketing Communications

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