Making access to clean energy simple for consumers and businesses
In 2020, the widespread shutdowns resulting from the pandemic brought about one of the most dramatic drops in energy consumption worldwide. Despite this, global renewable energy capacity grew by 45% — driven by an “an unprecedented boom” in wind and solar energy according to a report by the International Energy Agency.
Notwithstanding the flourishing in renewable power, access to clean energy remains out of reach for many consumers and businesses. This is due in part to the fact that renewables are not an omnipresent form of power generation among all utilities and rooftop solar, while more accessible than in decades prior, is not a viable option for every renter or homeowner. Washington, D.C. based Arcadia is addressing this problem by expanding access to clean energy to consumers and businesses by enabling them to connect their utility account with a network of community solar projects.
We’re excited to announce our investment in Arcadia — whose CEO and Founder, Kiran Bhatraju, was a guest on the MCJ Podcast in 2019 — as it continues its mission to fight climate change by becoming the leading provider of clean energy to retail customers.
What is Arcadia?
Arcadia is a climate-crisis-fighting technology company on a mission to accelerate the clean energy transition by enabling consumers and businesses to support sustainable energy generation while enjoying a lower electricity bill. It does this by helping customers seamlessly connect their utility accounts with a network of community solar farms. Although customers are not directly receiving their electricity from renewable sources, by repurposing part of their power bills to fund these solar farms, they are helping to increase the share of renewable energy that’s distributed through the grid. When the solar farms generate electricity, customers receive savings in the form of solar credits on their power bills — up to 10% of their total bill each month.
Setting up an Arcadia account and connecting to a solar farm is simple and takes just two minutes. Each month, the customer receives a statement from Arcadia displaying their utility charges and solar credits, and they can see their solar farm and clean energy impact any time on their Arcadia dashboard.
Why Did We Invest?
Addressing an Underserved Need
With approximately 6% of U.S. households, according to Pew Research Center, reporting to have installed rooftop solar, much of the American market remains unserved when it comes to clean energy access. The barriers include the suitability of the building (i.e. available space and proper orientation of the roof) as well as “soft costs,” such as permitting and financing. Using Arcadia, customers are no longer inhibited by these constraints; and given how much of the domestic market remains underserved, we see tremendous potential to scale Arcadia’s turnkey solution among consumers and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad.
Supporting Clean Energy Development
Arcadia represents a bankable revenue channel for community solar developers and, as the company continues to scale, an important element in the success of future project development. Arcadia manages the nation’s largest community solar portfolio with 500 Megawatts of new solar energy that will prevent more than 11,500,000 metric tons of lifetime carbon from impacting the environment. Moreover, Arcadia equips community solar developers with access to utility account data nationwide to better underwrite and form relationships with their customers.
Impressive Traction and Market Expansion
Since it began operating in 2015, Arcadia has gone from serving a small collection of regions in the U.S. to rolling out its offering across all 50 states. Its acquisition of Real Simple Energy in 2021 marked its entrance into the Texas energy market — the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation — and its acquisition of Nanogrid that same year has provided it with the capability to deliver demand response and cost-savings to customers with distributed energy resources like EVs and batteries.
In addition, it has formed partnerships with a number of leading companies to help their customers, tenants, and employees access clean energy through Arcadia.
With its mission to combat climate change and simplify the way homes and businesses are powered, Arcadia has made tremendous strides in helping to expand access and support for clean energy. We’re excited by the energy products the company will continue to build and we look forward to one day seeing it become the leading provider of clean energy to homes and businesses around the world.
Learn more about Arcadia’s mission from Kiran Bhatraju on the Arcadia blog
If you are an accredited investor, and want to learn more about being an investor in our fund (to back more great companies like this one!), reach out here.