Between 1991 and 2008, I put elpipes on the back burner, but did not completely set aside working on the concept. In late 2008, I saw NYSERDA PON 1208, which was asking for innovative ideas on transmission, and I decided to apply for funding. Preparing the PON 1208 grant application was a lot of work, and I assembled a great team of experts as part of that effort. Shortly after our work on the NYSERDA funding opportunity (Ken Mumby, my assistant at Rethink Technologies, was instrumental in pulling the PON 1208 application together), I applied for funding in the first round ARPA-E process; in this case, Alcoa joined the application (elpipes use a lot of aluminum!). After these two applications, I put Electric Pipeline Corporation (EPC) into a business plan competition sponsored by MIT Enterprise Forum, the Ignite Clean Energy "ICE" competition, where we barely missed the finals (EPC ranked 11th and the top ten advanced to the finals). After That, Ron Todd (who had been one of my mentors in the ICE Business Plan Competition) joined me and we spent a year intensively pursuing VC funding. After pitching to 12 VC or Angel groups without success, Ron withdrew from the role of CTO October 1, 2010, but remains active with EPC and is a member of the BOD. EPC remained pre-funding through April 2014, when I made a deal with Jostein Eikeland to bring my technology into Alevo. Between October 2010 to April 2014 I focused on development of IP and publishing papers on elpipes and related technology. I invented the Ballistic Breaker in October 2010, and refocused my effort on this complementary technology up until the acquisition by Alevo. Alevo is now supporting the development of both elpipes and Ballistic Breakers.
The inability to site overhead power lines is inhibiting development of renewable energy in the US and Europe. Cables have at most 20% of the energy transfer capacity of an overhead line, and are not practical for moving >2GW, >2000 km, as is needed to unlock the potential of wind and solar energy. I am developing technology to 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.