Investment partnership on green building and energy efficiency announced


By Sascha Yim (Cleantech Law Attorney)

Good Energies – one of the investors, along with Google, behind the Atlantic Wind Connection Backbone Transmission Project – is partnering with national financial services organization TIAA-CREF to invest in energy efficiency and green building technology, the company announced last week.

TIAA-CREF and Good Energies will invest $50 million, in companies and technologies that create and promote energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Individual projects are set to receive between $2 million to $8 million. TIAA-CREF is touting the partnership as a way to meet its goal of reducing the energy intensity of its commercial real estate portfolio by 15 percent by 2011.

The Green Building Technology Partnership will begin this venture with a $4.5 million investment in Ice Energy – a company that develops advanced technology solutions that increase energy efficency. Its Ice Bear storage system is integrated into a building’s air conditioning hub to absorb and store off-peak power and distribute it on-peak the next day. This technology can reduce a building’s AC energy demand by up to 95 percent, and will enable tenets to bypass daytime grid constraints and avoid higher-priced peak power.

This announcement comes just one week after Good Energies, a global investor in renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, announced its investment in the landmark Atlantic Wind Connection Backbone Transmission Project. The Atlantic Wind Connection project will create a 350-mile underwater cable off the Atlantic coast, which, when completed, is expected to connect transmission capabilities of about 6,000MW of offshore wind capacity to land-based transmission systems. The wind industry will no longer need to construct individual transmission lines from each individual offshore wind project to land in the future, now that a single source of power transmission to land has been established.

The Partnership illustrates an acknowledgment by financial firms that investing in energy efficiency technology is a cost effective way to achieve environmental benefits and competitive returns.

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