October 30, 2015

Investing in the Future of Massachusetts Cleantech

For the first time in nearly a year, there are some new names in MassCEC's investment portfolio.

We recently made equity investments to support two emerging Massachusetts energy efficiency companies as they market their promising technologies, which can make a big impact on energy consumption.

Cambridge-based eCurv has developed energy queuing technology to reduce their customers’ peak power demand, and the demand charges that with it.

eCurv's technology operates on the same technology that telecom companies have been using for years: when you place a phone call, you are not instantly connected to whom you are calling.  Instead, you are placed in a queue, and when a circuit becomes available (because someone else finishes his or her call), you are connected.  Because these are very large systems, your wait time is usually just fractions of a second. 

At eCurv, they are applying the same concept to electric loads. Typically, each of the air conditioning units at a customer’s site responds to the same stimulus and is triggered at the same time. By placing each electric load in a virtual queue, they can slightly delay one unit turning on until another has turned off.  The wait times are short, the service impact on a customer is unnoticeable, but the savings on an energy bill are huge!

Newton-based Powerhouse Dynamics has developed an integrated hardware and software solution to help customers monitor, analyze and control their energy consumption at the circuit level.

The company targets small commercial facilities that have high energy consumption per square foot, such as restaurants, convenience stores and other retail locations. Each of these locations by itself is too small for an expensive smart-building solution, but combined they represent a major source of energy consumption and waste. 

Powerhouse Dynamics’ low-cost installation gives building managers detailed data around their energy usage and helps them identify the best opportunities to reduce energy spending. By installing this technology across a portfolio of small sites, customers can benchmark the performance of each store manager and share best practices for reducing energy waste across their organizations.

Both of these companies have great teams and have developed economic solutions that can have a big impact on reducing energy consumption and realizing significant cost savings. We are excited to help them leverage the opportunities provided by the cleantech ecosystem in Massachusetts to accelerate their growth and commercial success!