A Belfast company that uses new technology to build efficiency and sustainability into hydroelectric facilities was named a regional winner in Cleantech Northeast, a competition to find and foster entrepreneurs dealing with clean energy.

Surge Hydro is among four Cleantech Open semifinalists announced Thursday by the Boston-based accelerator program. It joins three other startups from Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Princeton, New Jersey, to compete in the national competition in February 2017.

Winners at the semifinal level receive $15,000 and $5,000 in in-kind services. The winner of the national Cleantech Open will receive $100,000.

Surge Hydro is the third Maine company in five years to win the regional award and go on to compete at the Global Forum in California. Pika Energy, a clean power electronics company out of Westbrook, and Rapport, a sustainability software company in Portland, won in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

“Maine is increasingly becoming a cleantech incubator for companies that are coming up with solutions for the world’s biggest environmental and energy problems,” Jeff Marks said in a news release. He is executive director of the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine, or E2Tech, which oversees Maine’s participation in the regional competition. “The 2016 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index – a data-based comparison of all 50 states among 70 technology, capital, and policy indicators – found that Maine improved its ranking from 22nd to 18th since 2015 and (is) ahead 11 places since 2014.”

Also competing from Maine this year were Delta Dewatering of South Portland, an environmental services company that provides cost-effective, innovative technology services to clean water, and F.E.Wood Natural Energy of Portland, which has developed a shovel-ready project to supply high-quality wood pellet fuel to the renewable heating market in the Northeast.

The Maine Cleantech Open teams will be presenting at E2Tech 2016 on Nov. 17 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. For more information on that event, go to e2tech.org

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