An environmental investment firm will infuse $6 million into Brewer-based Nyle Systems to open a new factory in Bangor producing heat pump water heaters.
The expansion will bring approximately 200 new jobs to the region in the coming years.
New York-based Aligned Climate Capital announced on Tuesday that it had made the investment, which will see Nyle open the factory this fall at 690 Maine Ave., a city-owned building that until 2021 housed a Wayfair customer service center.
Mainers already have taken advantage of heat pumps for heating and cooling their homes, with more than 28,000 heat pumps installed in Maine homes in 2022 alone. The state is aiming for a target of 100,000 heat pumps installed in Maine homes by 2025.
Wayfair closed its Bangor operation in 2021, which at its peak employed approximately 300 people. Bangor’s city council approved the lease on the city-owned property at its Feb. 13 meeting.
Nyle already operates a factory in Brewer that produces heat pump water heaters, lumber dryers, food dehydrators and kiln drying equipment. It employs approximately 120 people.
With the investment, the company can double in size and take advantage of a rapidly growing market for heat pump technology. The heat pump water heaters will be produced for residential and commercial use, and are an energy-efficient alternative to traditional electric or natural gas water heaters.
“Our products provide reliable hot water at lower cost and less impact to the environment,” said Ton Mathissen, CEO of Nyle. “This investment will help accelerate our growth and bring new products to market.”
The global heat pump water heater market is expected to grow by approximately $3 billion over the next decade, according to market research firm Fact.MR.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an average four-person U.S. household would save $3,750 per year by using a residential heat pump heating unit, and the overall impact of a switch to the technology could cut emissions equal to taking 14 million vehicles off the road.
Nyle’s expansion will have a national impact because its products will be sold all over the country. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal government provides a tax credit of up to $2,000 and a rebate up to $1,750 for eligible consumers that install the heater. Several states, including California, plan to ban natural gas water heaters in the coming years.
Locally, Bangor’s economic development officer said the creation of new jobs in the burgeoning climate-friendly manufacturing field will be a major boost to the local economy.
“Nyle is an incredible company that manufactures and sells sustainable products. The job creation will be at a varying skill level to maintain and expand Bangor’s diversified workforce,” said Anne Krieg. “We look forward to their arrival in Bangor.”
Nyle Systems was founded in Brewer in 1978, and initially produced a dehumidifying lumber dryer. It expanded over the years to produce kiln drying equipment and food dehydrators.
In 2000, the company introduced its first heat pump water heaters, which at the time was a technology still in its infancy. Heat pump water heaters use technology similar to regular heat pumps, but heat water instead of air.
Mathissen purchased the company in 2009. With major investment from the state-backed Maine Venture Fund, it grew from 12 employees in 2009 to approximately 120 today, and moved to a 55,000-square-foot facility on Stevens Road in Brewer.
The investment from Aligned Climate Capital will further cement Nyle as a national leader in climate-friendly heating technology.
“Heat pumps lower energy bills and cut global warming pollution,” said Peter Davidson, CEO of Aligned Climate Capital. “This technology is key to electrifying buildings, and we are excited to partner with Nyle who is an early leader in this market.”
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated which state Aligned Climate Capital is based in. The story has also been updated to clarify the heat pumps are for residential homes.