Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Backs Sustainable HVAC Startup Blue Frontier
Sustainable air conditioning technology provider Blue Frontier announced today that it has raised $20 million in a series A financing round, with proceeds aimed at accelerating the company’s ability to bring its product to market, and supporting its goal to eliminate a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The round was led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, 2150 Urban Tech Sustainability Fund and VoLo Earth Ventures, and was joined by Blue Frontier’s commercialization partner, Modern Niagara.
According to Blue Frontier, air conditioning is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with today’s AC systems using refrigerants which create GHGs 2,000 times more powerful than CO2. Current air conditioning systems also consumer significant amounts of energy, with AC systems becoming the fastest-growing use of electricity in buildings across the world.
Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, said:
“Cooling is already a significant part of our global energy consumption and is expected to eventually surpass heating demand. Blue Frontier’s innovation is important because it can provide cooling with higher efficiency but also improved flexibility – reducing overall load and better utilizing renewable energy.”
Utilizing technology originally developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Blue Frontier’s system eliminates the use of Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant, and also stores electricity when it is cleanest or at lowest cost, enabling reduced peak demand. The system also electricity use by up to 90%.
Blue Frontier stated that the financing round will help to propel the company towards its goal of creating gigaton reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by decarbonizing building cooling. Pilot installations in commercial buildings are scheduled for the second half of 2022.
Dr. Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier, said:
“We are delighted to receive the support of some of the highest-profile cleantech funds who share our vision of driving decarbonization both in the power grid and beyond – into the buildings where we live and work. Our partnership with these sustainable investors enables the immense global environmental impact of our technology – to bring affordable, efficient, sustainable air conditioning with low-cost energy storage to buildings around the world – and to reduce the cost to utilities of supplying carbon-free electricity for cooling.”