BRITE Energy Innovators

Powering Progress: Adena Power’s Journey to Address the 100 TWh Grid Opportunity

Adena Power's team wearing "Built in Ohio" t-shirts

Adopting clean, affordable, and dependable energy solutions across the U.S. requires expanding energy storage. However, integrating such technology into the U.S. power grid is a challenging task. Regulatory barriers, high capital costs, and thorough technological validation are some of the issues that need to be addressed before a utility company can adopt new technology. Adena Power’s founders, Nathan and Neil, aim to overcome these challenges and deploy their technology on the US power grid within the next three years.

From Vision to Venture


Neil and Nathan have worked together for over a decade guiding technology from lab-scale concepts to commercial products for large corporate clients in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. This experience granted them a comprehensive understanding of the journey technology takes from laboratory to market. Yet, they found it disheartening when, despite their hard work, externally driven changes—like a client’s financial downturn, a leadership transition, or shifting priorities—washed away their projects.

“Customers would have a down quarter, or they’d have a change in leadership, and they’d slowly scrub our project or our work out of their business for no fault of our own. So, we’d be doing great on commercial, great on technology, and it just disappeared.”

Nathan Cooley

Neil and Nathan both worked in leadership for Nexceris, a clean energy innovator with more than 25 years of focus on renewable energy. Nexceris had seen organic growth, primarily driven by government-funded projects and gradual commercial expansion. Three years ago, they decided that the best way to leverage the momentum in the cleantech space was to lead independent ventures, or spin-outs. By establishing individual enterprises, each entity had room to grow independently. Banking on their abilities and a sense of purpose, they established Adena Power, seeking to create a stronger environmental impact on their own terms.

Adena Power, a pioneer in energy storage, capitalizes on local materials and manufacturing to bring unique sodium batteries to commercial and industrial sectors. After an in-depth dialogue with utilities and renewable developers spanning two years, they realized the limitations of lithium-ion solutions. They recognized the market’s call for battery solutions that are not only safer and offer flexible durations but are also cost-effective. Their goal is to deliver solutions at a benchmark lower than $50/kWh to ensure affordability.

Vision & Team


“Our vision is to have our battery products, our modules, our systems on the US grid here in the next three years.”

Neil Kidner

Adena’s co-founders bring a decade of clean tech experience and customer value creation, assembling a dynamic team to introduce their cutting-edge energy storage solution. This team, a collection of experts with over 60 years of collective experience, is exceptional in its diversity, boasting a 100% women engineering team from Ohio State and Ohio University, a rarity in the engineering field.

The team is committed to expanding within the Midwest. As Neil, a twelve-year Ohio resident, and his co-founder, having lived 20 years in Ohio, express their affection for the state: “We see Ohio for its vibrant culture, strong manufacturing infrastructure, and unique Midwestern spirt. We believe these attributes will aid us in navigating the evolution of the clean tech sector.” Ohio is more than just a place for business to them; it’s a place they proudly call home, hoping to contribute to its prosperity through job creation.

BRITE’s Role


Before partnering with BRITE, Nexceris and its spin-offs like Adena Power were already making strides in clean energy. Their collaboration with BRITE deepened when Adena joined BRITE’s mentorship programs, opening doors to invaluable manufacturing connections and expert advice. This network proved essential, offering guidance at industry events and during negotiations.

Neil and Nathan value the power of cooperation and learning from seasoned experts, crucial elements for success in the fast-evolving cleantech sector. Through BRITE, they’ve engaged directly with experts-in-residence who offer straightforward, transparent advice, which has significantly enhanced Adena’s approach to fundraising, investor relations, and strategy development.

BRITE has also offered targeted coaching on navigating investment terms with various accelerators, positioning Adena Power more confidently in the competitive market. Acting as both advocates and mentors, BRITE’s experts ensure Adena is well-equipped to seize future opportunities, reinforcing their journey toward clean energy innovation.



Adena Power’s technology brings customers added reassurance through major benefits. These include eliminating fire risks, offering flexible durations, enhancing reliability, and most importantly, reducing installation costs. Recently, they have successfully showcased a 1 kWh battery module.

In a streak of positive developments, Adena Power has made a mark as a semi-finalist in the Climate Tech Prize at the EarthX2024 E-Capital Summit. The company had the opportunity to present at NREL’s Industry Growth Forum and secured an exclusive battery license from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Among these achievements, one of their most significant victories has been progressing in the Facilities Track Phase 1 Manufacturer of Advanced Key Energy Infrastructure Technologies (MAKE IT) Prize. As a result, Adena secured a $500,000 award, which will contribute to the development of a manufacturing facility for long-duration sodium batteries in Ohio.



Key Milestones


    Pilot Project with Duke Energy 

    Adena Power has partnered with major utility company Duke Energy to conduct a demonstration of their battery technology in summer of 2024, further validating the effectiveness of their solution.


    Partnership with Current Chemicals

    Adena Power was connected to Current Chemicals through the BRITEnetwork, where they quickly realized that they are very well aligned with the vision and mission of current chemicals and their underutilized assets. Adena remains in collaboration with Current Chemicals, an industrialization partner in Cleveland, Ohio, to expand the manufacturing scale within the U.S. using secure, domestic supply chains.


    DOE MAKE IT Prize Facilities Track Phase 1 winner

    Led by Adena Power, this project will partner with Current Chemicals to revitalize an existing brownfield facility to rapidly scale manufacturing of sodium super ionic conductor ceramic electrolyte membranes – a critical component for several long-duration sodium battery technologies.


    Looking Forward


    “There’s not one silver bullet tech across the industry that counts.”

    Neil Kidner

    Neil and Nathan, both family men, envision Adena Power not just as a business, but as a legacy of positive environmental impact for their loved ones. They believe in the symbiosis of traditional and innovative energy solutions to create a sustainable future, emphasizing the significant role this energy transition could play in revitalizing Ohio and the Midwest. At the core of their ambition lies the essence of the American dream: innovation. By fostering innovation, they see the potential for the U.S. to lead globally, strengthening the domestic supply chain and securing national prosperity. This vision propels their commitment: “Wanting to see Ohio prosper and aspiring to leave the world a better place fuels our dedication to this challenging yet rewarding project.”

    Transitioning to clean energy, they acknowledge, is inherently complex, marked by compromises and challenges, but it’s a journey that has already begun. With cleantech and climate technologies outpacing traditional methods, the move towards innovation is clear. This progress is not just about improvement; it’s about revolutionizing how we interact with our planet. Neil and Nathan have confidence that ambitious efforts by startups like Adena Power will culminate in a meaningful, positive impact on the environment. Echoing BRITE’s mission, they are committed to innovative and sustainable solutions, confident that these will help create a better, greener future.

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