The tech nonprofit will apply AI technology to monitor emissions from the world’s power plants via satellite and will use the data to support global carbon reduction goals
May 7th, 2019
OAKLAND, May 7, 2019 — Google announced today that WattTime is one of 20 organizations that will share $25 million in grants from Google.org, credit and consulting from Google Cloud and coaching by Google’s AI experts as a grantee of the Google AI Impact Challenge. The Google AI Impact Challenge was an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions from around the world to submit their ideas to use AI to help address societal challenges. Over 2600 organizations applied.
WattTime will receive a $1.7 million grant to spearhead a collaboration to monitor and measure greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from all large power plants worldwide via a global network of satellites. The project will leverage AI technology and the latest image processing algorithms to detect emissions, and those results will then be made available to the public in an effort to hold power plants accountable for illegal polluting and inspire compliance to carbon reduction regulations.
Next week, the WattTime team will travel to San Francisco to dive into execution. For five days, all 20 organizations will join Google AI experts, project managers, and the startup specialists from Google’s Launchpad Accelerator for a program that will last six months, from May to November 2019. Through the Launchpad program, each of the 20 grantees will develop their own OKRs — Objectives and Key Results — and set timelines for project completion. Each organization will be paired with a Google expert who will meet with them regularly for coaching sessions, and will also have access to other Google resources and expert mentorship.
“As a mission-driven tech organization, WattTime is thrilled to be leading this endeavor to harness some of the world’s most advanced solutions and apply them to some of the world’s most urgent challenges,” said Gavin McCormick, executive director of WattTime. “By making public the true emissions levels of the heaviest polluters on the planet and empowering citizens with real data, we hope to turn the tide in environmental regulation and compliance.”
“At Google, we have seen how AI can help us accomplish daily tasks and travels, and we believe in its potential to help address some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org. “We are excited to support WattTime’s work to use AI to achieve even greater social impact.”
WattTime is a nonprofit with a software tech startup DNA, dedicated to giving everyone everywhere the power to choose clean energy. Our Automated Emissions Reduction (AER) technology can shift the timing of flexible electricity use to sync with times of cleaner energy and avoid times of dirtier energy. We sell solutions that make it easy for anyone to achieve emissions reductions without compromising cost and user experience. WattTime is a subsidiary of Rocky Mountain Institute.
For more information, please visit WattTime.org.
Google.org, Google's philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues worldwide and apply radical, data-driven innovation to solving the world's biggest challenges.
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WattTime received a substantial grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to lead a coalition of nonprofits and companies in reducing mercury pollution from coal plants.
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