Climate Finance | January 18, 2022

BlocPower secures $30 million from Microsoft to retrofit old city buildings

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, January 18 — Brooklyn-based BlocPower has worked with utilities, government agencies and property owners to retrofit more than 1,200 buildings for low- and middle-income residents in 26 U.S. cities since 2014. One of its latest projects: a large-scale, city-wide partnership with the city of Ithaca to electrify and decarbonize its building stock.

The investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund will support and expand current projects, including in Ithaca. It will also fund BlocPower’s electrification services. “The funding provided will fuel BlocPower’s efforts to make a meaningful impact on climate change and bring environmental and economic justice to frontline communities across America that need it most,” BlocPower’s Donnel Baird said.

Scaling investment

Investors are keying on sustainable infrastructure in underserved communities. Reactivate, a joint venture between Lafayette Square and Invenergy, is looking to invest a half-billion dollars in dozens of community solar projects in the next two years.

The new venture aims to “increase access to renewable energy and unlock the economic and social potential of local communities,” says Lafayette Square’s Damien Dwin.

Climate justice

Baird credits the financing to Goldman Sachs Asset Management, which provided underwriting services, for closing the Microsoft other recent deals.

“Low-income neighborhoods bear the brunt of climate change impacts and yet lack sufficient resources to combat it,” said Goldman Sachs’ Margaret Anadu. “Creating more resilient neighborhoods requires unprecedented levels of innovation and collaboration.”