As a venture investor we were early leaders in investing in energy efficiency technology and service businesses, with a specific focus on smart building technologies that combine software, sensors and enabling hardware to optimize energy consumption of lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation and other equipment in a building. Our recent investments are listed below.
Blue Hill Partners teamed with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to develop a $6.6 million energy efficiency project to upgrade five buildings at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Blue Hill Partners co-developed the project with SCIenergy.
The project was funded in part by the Blue Hill-managed Campus Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF)
The Campus Energy Efficiency Fund (the “Fund”) is designed to help schools overcome the multiple challenges they face in achieving their sustainability goals. The Fund will provide capital to project developers who provide energy efficiency and sustainability as a service to colleges and universities. Projects will be designed to meet the unique needs of higher education, where sustainability is a core issue to students, faculty, operations and alumni.
Upon completion of the project, Drexel’s energy consumption will decrease by more than 25% in three science and two mixed use campus buildings — the Lebow Engineering Center, the Center for Automation Technology, the Bossone Research Center, Nesbitt Hall, and the Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Center— which cumulatively account for more than 430,000 square feet of building space. The upgrades will cut energy consumption by approximately 19.4 billion BTUs a year, approximately the amount of energy consumed annually by 142 U.S. families, and recover the costs through savings on Drexel’s energy bills.
Other investors in the project are SCIenergy, Mitsui USA, The Reinvestment Fund and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.
Aircuity is an energy efficiency technology company providing building owners with sustained energy savings through its intelligent building ventilation control solutions.
Aircuity’s system continuously monitors a facility’s indoor environment and adjusts the ventilation based on conditions within the space, increasing ventilation if there are more occupants or if airborne contaminants are present and decreasing ventilation when there are fewer occupants or the air is clean. Key customers include University of Pennsylvania, University of California – Irvine, Harvard University, Eli Lilly, Dartmouth, GSA, and Masdar City.
Aircuity is a current Blue Hill portfolio company. Since Blue Hill invested in Aircuity in 2006 the company went from 2 installed projects to over 325. Joyce Ferris has been a member of the Board of Directors and an active partner with the company since 2006.
Nextility, formerly Skyline Innovations, is a national leader in the development and financing of solar hot water systems for commercial buildings.
Nextility finances, installs, maintains and monitors solar energy systems. Nextility delivers guaranteed savings to business and multifamily buildings by providing a fixed discount to customer’s utility rate for water heating and electricity. The company finances, installs, maintains and monitors commercial-scale solar water heating and electricity systems at no upfront cost to the customer.
In addition to solar development and financing, in 2014 Nextility expanded its offerings to include energy brokerage, which utilizes innovative new technology to provide small businesses with a better way to buy and manage their energy.
Nextility is a current Blue Hill portfolio company. Joyce Ferris has been an active advisor and board member since late 2010. During that period the company has grown from a handful of installations to over 130 at the end of 2013 .
Performance Systems Development (PSD) is a technology-enabled consulting firm that provides consulting, training, solution design, and implementation support
to utilities, efficiency program implementers, energy service professionals, and building portfolio owners. PSD’s clients include some of the largest utilities and efficiency program implementers in the country including First Energy, Philadelphia Gas Works, NYSERDA, NREL and Duke.
PSD is a current portfolio company and Joyce Ferris has been an active board member since 2010.
Blue Hill Partners owns, manages and lives in a 14,000 square foot Class A office building in Philadelphia.