Ithaca NY raises $100M, hiring BlocPower to manage decarbonization of municipal ops by 2030

Nov. 5, 2021
The city's version of Green Deal could cut Ithaca's 400,000 tons of CO2 by 40% and create 400 new green economy construction, technology and management jobs

By Rod Walton, EnergyTech Senior Editor

A mid-size New York college town is making a commitment to the energy transition that is gaining worldwide attention.

City leaders in Ithaca voted this week to electrify and decarbonize its municipal building portfolio. The city's Mayor Svante L. Myrick will negotiate a contract with Brooklyn-based tech startup BlocPower to manage the project for energy efficiency retrofitting and thermal load electrification.

BlocPower's proposal estimates that the installation of air source heat pumps paired with supporting energy efficiency upgrades and other building improvements will cut Ithaca's 400,000 tons of CO2 by 40% and create 400 new green economy construction, technology and management jobs. At the same time, it will make financing green energy upgrades affordable by providing low-cost loans to building owners, which they will pay back through the significant energy cost savings received.

"We applaud the City of Ithaca's bold vision and progressive plan to reduce fossil fuel dependency, improve the health and quality of life for its residents, embrace environmental social justice issues and fight the effects of climate change today to build a better tomorrow," said Donnel Baird, CEO and co-founder of BlocPower. "Mayor Myrick, Ithaca's Common Council and Planning & Economic Development Committee members have all demonstrated incredible leadership on this issue, and their hard work has laid the groundwork for other cities across the U.S. to follow."

Ithaca is home to Cornell University. The city previously lined up about $100 million in private funding to assist in pursuing a major clean power and energy efficiency makeover of buildings there.

Related story

NOAA, ASCE and University of Maryland collaborating on new building climate codes

BlocPower has retrofitted more than 1,200 buildings in disadvantaged communities of New York City and is working on projects in Philadephia, Milwaukee and other cities. The firm uses proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management and monitoring of decarbonizing energy projects.

Ithaca’s energy transition and municipal building decarbonization efforts have been covered by CNBC, The Guardian and the Washington Post.

(Rod Walton is senior editor for EnergyTech, a website devoted to coverage of how industries and companies take the energy transition, from microgrids to EV infrastructure, CHP and energy efficiency. Walton is a 14-year veteran as an energy journalist, including newspapers and business media. He can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 412-376-7454).