15 West Main Street
Cambridge, NY, 12816, United States


Type of Organization: Product Company

Industry: Energy


Electric Pipeline Corporation(EPC) is a Delaware C Corporation that was formed to pursue development an commercialization of a patent pending underground high capacity, high efficiency underground HVDC power transmission technology, "elpipes." EPC was launced via several grant applications and participation in both business plan competitions and venture forums. I applied for funding in the first round ARPA-E process, and in Round #3; in both these applications, Alcoa joined as a sub-contractor (elpipes use a lot of aluminum!). EPC is addressing two inter-related and very important problems: the inability to site overhead power lines is inhibiting development of renewable energy in the US and Europe; and even if we could site overhead power lines, they do not have adequate transmission capacity to enable the sort of supergrid that is required to unlock the potential or renewable energy. Cables have at most 20% of the energy transfer capacity of an overhead line, and are not practical for moving >5GW, >2000 km, as is needed to unlock the potential of wind and solar energy. Elpipes can allow transmission of 3-30 GW underground, in a single passively cooled circuit, something that is required to allow deep penetration of renewable energy into our energy economy.

Technology Overview

In the long run, elpipes are designed for continental scale underground transmission, in other words, as the main transmission technology of the the HVDC supergrid of the future. However, elpipes have introductory markets that are more immediate, such as undergrounding short segments of otherwise overhead HVDC power lines, for example as at the approach to an urban area along side a railroad track, or through a scenic area. Elpipes can have transmission capacity up to six times that of the highest capacity overhead line, which is about 6 times the maximum capacity of a terrestrial cable.

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