Bedrock Energy believes the solution to skyscraper decarbonization lies 1,500 feet underground

Climate technology has reached a point where it needs all the help it can get. Fortunately, there is still a lot of untapped experience in the oil and gas sector.

Case in point: Silviu Livescu spent decades in the oil and gas industry, working for Baker Hughes and ExxonMobil. He has won several awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers and holds dozens of patents that help get more oil out of the earth.

He then became a professor at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021, where he taught the school’s first geothermal energy course. He even helped write a report on the subject. He now runs a company that translates his expertise in drilling deep into the Earth’s crust into sustainable geothermal heating and cooling for commercial and industrial buildings.

Large buildings almost always have a large carbon footprint, and removing carbon from their heating and cooling systems is particularly difficult. Many buildings use natural gas to stay warm in the cold months, and some even use fossil fuels to cool in the summer. It is possible to convert boilers to air source heat pumps, but this is not always practical, especially if the building is taller than it is wide and roof space is limited.

That’s why Livescu and his company Roca Energy are looking down rather than up.

Geothermal heat pumps, also called geothermal heat pumps, can help decarbonize the heating and cooling of large buildings across the country. Such systems circulate water or other working fluids in and out of the ground, with the earth’s tendency to maintain stable temperatures helping to heat or cool the building above.

Geothermal energy is by no means a new technology, but Bedrock hopes that the reliability of his team in the oil and gas industry can help it penetrate markets where the technology has previously been overlooked. This week, the company announced it has raised an $8.5 million seed round led by Wireframe Ventures, including Overture Climate VC, Long Journey Ventures, Cantos, Toba Capital, First Star Ventures, Divergent Capital and Climate Capital.

Most geothermal heat pumps rely on refrigerant circuits that run horizontally a few feet below the surface, or a few holes that extend down a few hundred feet. These approaches make sense for single-family homes or campus areas with lots of open space. However, for high-rise or industrial buildings there may not be enough land for the horizontal circuits or the large number of vertical drillings that would be required.

Source: La Neta Neta