BlocPower is electrifying this building in Brooklyn, New York
Lisa Rizzolo | CNBC
BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology company, has closed a funding round worth nearly $155 million, which will be used to expand and fund community decarbonization projects, as it has already done in Menlo Park, California, and Ithaca. New York.
The round, which includes more than $24 million in Series B funding, was led by VoLo Earth Ventures. Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, New York State Ventures, Kimball and Christina Musk, and NBA player Russell Westbrook also participated in this investment round. The company also raised $130 million in debt led by Goldman Sachs, bringing BlocPower’s total raised capital to date to more than $250 million.
“We’re tackling climate crises while improving the quality of life for city dwellers,” BlocPower CEO and founder Donnell Baird said in a statement, noting that the funding “will allow us to accelerate the decarbonization of buildings across America.”
A two-time CNBC Disruptor 50, BlocPower has focused on improving the energy consumption and efficiency challenges facing many older buildings in the US. The company works with cities to build and retrofit existing properties based on renewable energy and energy efficiency concepts and technologies, focusing on areas such as heating and cooling systems.
Perhaps BlocPower’s most high-profile project to date is in Ithaca, where it’s helping the New York City campus become the first net-zero municipality in the US. The Ithaca plan covers projects to electrify 1,000 residential buildings and 600 commercial buildings in the first phase of a total inventory of 6,000 buildings.
Menlo Park, the hub of Silicon Valley and home to companies like Meta, is also making its own efforts to reach a climate goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, which includes electrifying thousands of buildings to reduce fossil fuel use with BlocPower. It includes the installation of heat pumps for cooling and heating air, heat pumps for water, charging stations for electric vehicles, solar energy and battery storage.
According to the US Green Building Council, direct energy and electricity use in construction, as well as electricity used for water and space heating and lighting, accounts for approximately 38% of US greenhouse gas emissions. This makes retrofitting even more important to reduce this impact, as most of the buildings that will make up the urban environment by 2030 already exist.
BlocPower is also helping to increase the number of clean energy workers, and last year the Civilian Climate Corps won a two-year, $108 million contract with New York City to train 3,000 city residents in clean energy jobs. This latest round of funding will also expand the workforce initiative, focusing on training and hiring at-risk people in vulnerable communities.
Since its inception in 2014, BlocPower claims to have completed energy projects in more than 5,000 households, commercial buildings and houses of worship.