In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • BASF will buy 49.5% of Vattenfall’s 1.5 GW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.
  • Home energy efficiency upgrade company Sealed raises $16 million in Series B funding.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Huge Dutch offshore wind farm

German chemicals giant BASF will buy 49.5% of Swedish power company Vattenfall‘s future Dutch offshore wind farm, Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ). The remainder of HKZ’s power will supply clean energy to Netherlands residents.

Once fully commissioned in 2023, HKZ will feature 140 Siemens Gamesa 11 MW wind turbines (pictured above). Construction will start in July 2021.

HKZ’s site is 18 kilometers (11 miles) offshore in the North Sea, between The Hague and Zandvoort. 

HKZ will be the world’s first fully merchant offshore wind farm that doesn’t receive any price subsidies for its power produced because, in Vattenfall’s words, “the cost price of offshore wind energy has dropped appreciably in the last few years.”

BASF will pay around €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) to fund the project, which includes a purchase price of €0.3 billion ($0.36 billion) plus construction costs. 

BASF is boosting its investments in clean energy to offset emissions at its European production sites. It “aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the year 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” according to a news release. BASF continues:

One important lever to further bring down emissions is replacing fossil-based electricity with fossil-free electricity. BASF will secure the required amounts of renewable power through a “make and buy” approach. 

Read more: A 24-year-old Dutch wind farm is being decommissioned. Here’s what’s next

Sealed raises $16 million

Clean energy isn’t just about using renewable power; it’s also about efficiently using power. Houses are responsible for 20% of US greenhouse gas emissions.

New York City-headquartered Sealed, which makes houses more energy efficient with no upfront costs for homeowners, announced yesterday that it has raised $16 million in Series B funding, which will enable it to accelerate US expansion efforts. It’s launching in New Jersey and Connecticut, its first service areas outside of New York State.

Fifth Wall made its first lead investment from its Climate Technology Fund, and actor Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures also invested. Returning backers Cyrus Capital and CityRock Ventures also participated in the round.

Here’s how Sealed works: First, Sealed’s experts gather the house’s structural details and assess annual energy use patterns. Sealed then creates an energy efficiency plan and matches the homeowner with a suitable contractor.

The homeowner can customize their payment terms, and all customers can opt for paying zero upfront costs. The repayment terms are designed to balance low upfront costs with minimal changes to the homeowner’s ongoing expenses. After the upgrades are complete, Sealed reviews the homeowner’s energy use from their utility bill and compares the new energy use to the pre-upgrade energy profile. 

The difference between the new energy use and the old energy profile is the homeowner’s monthly energy reduction. The bill for Sealed is based on the size of the energy reduction each month. That means if the house doesn’t save energy on a given month, the payment to Sealed is zero.

FootPrint Coalition Ventures cofounder Robert Downey Jr. said:

There’s roughly $50 billion in wasted energy leaking out through the roofs of more than 33 million homes across the United States.

We love the promise of Sealed – upgrading homes with new insulation, air sealing, LED lights, smart thermostats, and modern heating and cooling technology – and that Sealed only gets paid if they reduce a customer’s energy consumption. 

Photo: Siemens Gamesa

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