Audio Of The Week: Turning Buildings Into Power Plants

The Gotham Gal and I are investors in Blueprint Power, a company that helps landlords turn their buildings into mini power plants.

Robyn Beavers, the CEO of Blueprint, was on the Gotham Gal’s podcast this past week. They talked about how Robyn spent fifteen years working in the tech, energy, and real estate industries and took all of those work experiences and combined them into the idea for Blueprint. They also talk about how the changing supply and demand for energy is opening up new revenue streams for property owners and how Blueprint enables that. 

#hacking energy

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    Autumn is falling in England.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Missing the sun? Want some more? Lots of spring here in Santiago.If you can stand a non stop, 14 hour and 40 minutes flight from Heathrow, that is.https://www.britishairways….

      1. jason wright

        Thanks Lawrence :)Spring in Santiago. That could have been the title of Salvador Allende’s memoir. How history pivots.14 hours! I’m now doubly glad i just bought my new winter coat.

        1. Lawrence Brass

          You and Mrs.Wright are welcome, anytime. Bikes and beers on me.

  2. jason wright

    https://uploads.disquscdn.c… This was my 2018 5th of November Bonfire Night power plant.Always good cover as the annual confidential waste burning session.

  3. Frank W. Miller

    Is this a follow on to a discussion item from you about putting solar panels on buildings in NYC? Perhaps this is the aggregation of that? If so, I’m glad the team appears to have full-stack engineers to make their website. Its important to have a good website.I have a series of leading but genuine questions. How many solar panels can you get on these buildings, how much do the panels and associated infrastructure cost? How much energy do they generate over time (real numbers that take into account all the rain and shadows in NYC)? How much of that energy is used by the building vs being sold? Given all that, does this make any sense at all economically?

    1. LE

      I have a series of leading but genuine questions. How many solar panels can you get on these buildings, how much to the panels and associated infrastructure cost? How much energy do they generate over time (real numbers that take into account all the rain and shadows in NYC)? Agree and I have the same questions and they are good questions. [1]Look at the top of the building that Blueprint is located in. It’s covered with HVAC and mechanical systems. Where do you even put solar panels? Enough that would result in revenue that would make sense vs. downside and effort?The website for Blueprint is short on any details (but has large pictures of the team and links to press stories). More details and some numbers are requested. [2][1] We looked at this for a building that is only 1 story (and spread out over space with many offices) and when you take into account the impact of having the roof covered and potential damage it didn’t seem to make sense. In a multi story building (especially of the type in NYC) even less so napkin calculations. So what is it that we don’t know that the investors know?[2] This is why it’s often frustrating to make comments here. Obviously USV and others have invested but all we get is some superficial info and some implication that ‘we have this figured out’. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. Frank W. Miller

        It is about as PC a startup as I could imagine too. Focused on something “green” whether that makes sense or not, female led with lots of nice diversity in the staff. The interview was more of Gotham Gal telling the CEO what she thought about lots of random stuff than it was on the specifics of what the business was doing or how they will make money. While all that is fine, I think the PC stuff is great as long as there’s a real business, it just has a little too much of the feel good stuff. I hope they succeed…

        1. LE

          I think that gets you the audience but not the investment.I am reminded back in the day when I was single and a really good looking girl came to the office to pitch me for becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. I saw her on CCTV and said ‘send her up!’. She came into my office and flirted up a storm but in the end I don’t think that I parted with any money.What you are saying does happen but I don’t think that is what is going on here…

      2. sigmaalgebra

        “Ah, you left out a LOT of stuff!”: You didn’t show Bloomberg’s roof top wind turbines raining down on the streets lots freshly killed birds to supply the sidewalk food vendors — “Get your fresh killed pigeon tacos right here!!!”.See, NYC is a GREAT CITY!!!

    2. sigmaalgebra

      No, no, no: You and LE are totally missing all the important points!!!!!(1) Being Green. This is a green project. Green is “saving the planet”, renewable, and GOOD! Fossil fuels, coal, crude oil, are black, “destroying the planet”, dirty, finite, and BAD. The Greenies strongly FEEL this way. It all FEELS just so RIGHT!Green has a long history, e.g.,…The fathers of those two coeds better ASAP get their dear daughters OUT of that college environment: The coeds are so obviously so EASILY totally taken in by simplistic, total nonsense and have such overwhelming passion and zero rational discipline that they will be seen as super easy targets by any man on campus with just a little social, psychological, emotional insight into coeds and eager to score and leave one or both knocked up. They sound cute, even giggling, and a close up might show that one or both are pretty! From a distance in less than a nano second, my excellent, autonomous, asynchronous, target detection and evaluation radar estimates at least one of the coeds as size D or better! They are articulate, really energetic, and determined, i.e., have the makings of being really responsive — never a dull moment with them!But they are also dumber than paint: I.e., there in public, in front of a lot of the faculty and students of Amherst, all taken in as convenient idiots with total wacko scam nonsense, taking on who? Yup, YOU guessed it, none other than Newt Gingrich, former star Speaker of the House, with nothing less than world class rhetorical and debating talent, skills, and experience and historical expertise who would effortlessly take the gold in any public policy Debating Olympics. E.g., he let the coeds (they DO sound sweet, trying hard to be assertive and nasty but failing at it; I suspect that actually they really are sweet) go on and tried to engage them in a productive and educational exchange but where they refused to pause and rushed to attack him, switched his approach, and let them prattle on until they made enough really dumb statements, took on one of their worst statements, shot it down, with evidence, soundly, and then cut off the nonsense with “Next question”. Terrific. The men at Amherst can live like sultans!!! Wish I’d understood coeds that well when I was in high school and college!!! Ah, youth is such a wonderful time of life; too bad it’s wasted on young people!!!! Ah, Saturday night in a back seat, size D+, giggling, responsive, passionate, maybe highly determined to be liberated — wish Dad had given me more on Girls 101!!! Did I mention that their fathers, good enough to pay the bills at Amherst, better get their vulnerable daughters HOME ASAP before they are grand fathers without sons in laws.(2) Energy. There is a new source of energy!!! The Greenies gather in a circle, holding a wire, sing Kumbaya, fervently, passionately “think green”, and then the electric power, the Greenies can FEEL the electricity, flows through the wire and powers NYC and NYS!!!!(3) Joules. A Joule is unit of energy. A Watt is a unit of power. A Watt is a Joule per second. But these concepts are all old. Now the Greenies have newer and better approaches to energy generation, without the old, obsolete, unfeeling, planet destroying Joules and Watts!!! So, no taking the surface area of the proposed solar panels, the size and weight of the storage batteries (for times of clouds, rain, snow, and night), and comparing with the megawatts of a common NYC office building!!!(4) The Sun. The sun is the source of all warmth on earth. The sun is our caring, security providing, life giving father in the sky. Solar panels make us one with our father which will save us. People living renewable, healthy, all-natural, organic lifestyles have known for millennia that the sun is our life giving father!(5) The Planet. It’s a trilogy of sinful transgression, severe retribution, and redemption through sacrifice: The Greenies are our last chance at redemption, the last wall holding back the evil, sinful, transgression against the earth, CO2 from fossil fuels causing the severe retribution of disastrous warming of the planet, melting of the ice caps, rising sea levels, flooding coastal cities, especially NYC, turning green lands into deserts, and making Mother Earth sterile.Instead:(A) Science. To shoot the US economy in the gut and blow many hundreds of billions of dollars, maybe trillions, on hopeless renewable scam energy, we will want some science, more than from two overly emotional, ignorant, Amherst coeds.So there was an attempt at the science, computer based models of the temperature of the earth and how CO2 levels might affect that temperature.There is a situation in science: The scientists are supposed to make predictions and have the predictions correct. After many of these, we can start to take the proposed science seriously, but at the first significantly wrong prediction we junk the science, send it to the recycle bin.So, some predictions were made. Nearly all the predictions were for much higher temperatures soon. The time of when the temperatures were to be much higher have long since come and gone with no significant rise in temperatures. So, we have to junk the science. Net, we are left with no good science saying that human sources of CO2 will significantly warm the planet anytime soon if ever.The results of the predictions were summarized in:http://www.energyadvocate.c…(B) Reality. Always look for the hidden agenda and follow the money. Some people want to throttle fossil fuels nuclear power and sell solar, wind, etc. clean, healthy, caring, organic, natural renewable power. Then as in…electric rates will “necessarily skyrocket”.So, the hidden agenda is to throttle fossil fueled and nuclear power and let electric rates skyrocket. The money is from subsidies, feed in tariffs, and the high electric rates.(C) The Media. The media needs eyeballs for ad revenue, and some of their main means are to scare people with claims of sin, corruption, scandal, transgression that promises severe retribution, to propose redemption through sacrifice, etc. So, the Greenies supply such claims, and the media get eyeballs and ad revenue.(D) Low Standards. The higher the rational standards are, the fewer stories and eyeballs and the less revenue the media get. So, the media keeps the standards very low, pumps out lots of really low grade stuff, creates a norm of low grade stuff, and, thus, gets to pump out more low grade stuff.(E) Hysteria. So, the Greenies go all overly emotional, hysterical, irrational, and destructive.(F) Child’s Play. But so far the Greenies are mostly just some silly people playing fantasy games that any society with even a drop of rationality will keep reasonably short of reality. So, the Greenies get to play fantasy games like children. No one should take the fantasy games literally or even at all seriously — just remember those Amherst coeds!!

  4. Michael Elling

    It would be interesting to know how Blueprint approaches the transactive energy edge any differently than