The Ben Franklin Technology Partners' Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center has received more than 70 entries for its shale gas innovation contest.
That easily beats the previous year, when more than 50 entries were received, center Director Bill Hall said in a statement.
The contest was open to startup companies with ideas for products and services related to Pennsylvania's burgeoning shale gas industry. The deadline for entries was Feb. 1.
One contestant is from the midstate, said John Siggins, the center's assistant director. Resilient Energy Development, a startup incorporated by Mechanicsburg-area resident Hoon Won, is developing technology that would make microgrids more feasible.
Microgrids are small, locally powered electricity grids, about the scale of a business park or small town. Resilient Energy's technology would make it much easier to hook microgrids into the nation's existing large regional grids, Won said.
Using Marcellus Shale gas to generate electricity would help make microgrids economically viable, Won said.
The center will select contest finalists by the end of March. Three winners will be announced in May and will share $75,000 in prize money.
"We are excited to start the vetting process and select the best concepts," Hall said.