Newheat, a French sustainable heat provider and solar heat firm, has completed a 7 million euro financing campaign to assist its growth in France and globally.
Bpifrance, a French bank, is investing through its FIEE fund dedicated to energy and the environment, alongside Newheat’s founding partners Noria and Etchart, in this fundraising initiative.
Newheat, which has six solar heat plants in operation or construction, is the French market leader in a market that, while still a niche, is expected to grow rapidly because it provides a critical decarbonisation solution for large thermal energy consumers such as manufacturers, communities, and large greenhouse installations.
Solar thermal technology, waste heat recovery, short- and long-term thermal storage, and heat pumps are all used to give full decarbonisation solutions. The Bordeaux-based firm has twice won the “I-nov” Innovation Competition, which is financed by the Investments for the Future program, thanks to its extensive R&D effort (PIA).
Newheat, which was created in 2015, is currently a market leader in solar thermal energy in France. Newheat has built and operates four solar heat plants larger than 1000 square meters in France (two on district heating networks and two on industrial sites), with the building of two more plants set to begin in the next months, giving the business a total installed capacity of 40 MW.
In 2017, the firm received 1.8 million euros to expedite its development, finance its first solar thermal plants, and expand its R&D work; in 2020, it secured 15 million euros in investment to complete five heat production facilities.
This second 7 million euro round of funding will allow Newheat to:
Continue its recruitment, R&D, and sales deployment efforts;
Confirm its position as an integrated supplier of a “turnkey” heat production solution for its clients by maintaining the sufficient equity to remain the primary owner of its projects. In exchange for a 15- to 25-year purchase commitment, Newheat develops, plans, finances, builds, and runs its facilities to give clients with directly competitive renewable heat;
Confirm its worldwide ambitions with the signing of its first project outside of the country, in Croatia. Decarbomalt Croatia, which will save 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, was chosen by the EU Innovation Fund, which has stringent award criteria.
The firm, which presently employs 22 employees, intends to hire an additional ten individuals over the next two years to support the growth of French and worldwide projects. In addition to further investments from its initial partners, the investment firm Noria and the industrial group Etchart, Newheat has welcomed the French bank Bpifrance as a new investment partner, through its FIEE fund dedicated to energy and the environment.
This financing will help to build a relatively unrecognized energy transition lever that, although meeting a need that accounts for over half of French energy use – renewable heat. Solar thermal technology is particularly virtuous among renewable heat production solutions because it uses a local and unlimited resource, has the lowest carbon footprint of the renewable energies, produces no local emissions or nuisances for residents, and has the least impact on natural resources.
“We are very pleased with this fundraising, which means that we can continue to accelerate our development and welcome a new key shareholder, Bpifrance, whose industrial vision and intrinsic values are completely consistent with our business model,” said Hugues Defréville, CEO and co-founder of Newheat. “Decarbonising the heat sector, whether for industry or district heating networks, is one of the major problems in the battle against global warming, with France and Europe already falling well behind schedule.” There is an urgent need to speed the development of our renewable, competitive, and virtuous heat supply systems in order to provide an energy option for building a sustainable future.”
Samia Ben Jemaa, Investment Director at Bpifrance, emphasized that decarbonizing industry needs comprehensive and creative renewable heat generation solutions, such as those that Newheat is capable of developing.
“This investment perfectly reflects the investment philosophy of the climate bank Bpifrance and the FIEE fund,” Ms Jemaa added. “At the core of today’s and tomorrow’s climate concerns, decarbonising industry is a strategic priority for us.” We are thrilled to help Newheat, a market leader, in this new chapter of its development in France and beyond, alongside its original partners.”