Blue Frontier, Inc., the leading innovator in ultra-efficient sustainable air conditioning technology, announced that it has raised a $20M Series A equity investment led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, 2150 Urban Tech Sustainability Fund and VoLo Earth Ventures. Blue Frontier’s commercialization partner, Modern Niagara, also participated in the funding round. The Series A financing will accelerate Blue Frontier’s ability to bring its product to market, thereby helping to propel the company towards its goal of creating gigaton reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by decarbonizing building cooling.
Dr. Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier, commented, “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.”
Blue Frontier’s systems address every major issue associated with present-day air conditioning with a ground-breaking replacement for Packaged Rooftop Units that dominate the commercial buildings air conditioning market:
Eliminates high Global Warming Potential (“GWP”) refrigerant with breakthrough liquid desiccant technology
Dramatically reduces AC electrical consumption by 50-90% depending on weather and usage
Eliminates peak electrical demand by integrating energy storage with a proprietary saltwater solution, which allows AC to intelligently store and use excess renewable energy
Enables early replacement of traditional ACs with HVAC-as-a-Service, a business model designed to speed market adoption by removing capital investment requirements
In connection with the completion of the funding round, Phillippe Larochelle, Partner at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Christian Hernandez Gallardo, co-Founder and Partner at 2150, and Kareem Dabbagh, co-Founder and Managing Partner at VoLo Earth Ventures, which also led Blue Frontier’s seed funding round, have been appointed to the Blue Frontier Board of Directors. Brian Mayers, of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, will serve as a board observer.
“Cooling is already a significant part of our global energy consumption and is expected to eventually surpass heating demand,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “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. This team has also developed compelling pricing models that make it an easy economic decision to swap out traditional systems.
The Blue Frontier technology was originally developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with Blue Frontier obtaining rights through an exclusive license in 2018. Continued development was undertaken in conjunction with NREL and the Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator (IN2) program and prototypes were tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Pilot installations in commercial buildings are scheduled for the second half of 2022. Pre-commercial Alpha unit release is expected in 2023, configured to replace commercial building Rooftop Units (RTUs).