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GBN Bulletin - April 2022

As the world tries to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, green banks are redoubling their efforts to catalyze private investment in green and resilient infrastructure. These sustained efforts have led to multiple GBN members reaching significant milestones in total lifetime investment commitments and cumulative investment:
 
The Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) passed $10 billion in lifetime investment commitments. (CEFC figures are in Australian dollars). Each dollar committed by the CEFC is matched by additional private sector capital of $2.50. In the United States, the Connecticut Green Bank has exceeded $2 billion of cumulative investment in the state’s green economy. Since 2011, the Connecticut Green Bank has mobilized $288.4 million in public dollars to attract $1.85 billion in private investment, a leverage ratio of $7.40 for every $1. In India, Tata Cleantech Capital Limited announced that its portfolio crossed the $1 billion threshold in January 2022, comprising more than 225 projects with a value of $4.1 billion funded since its inception.
 
Reaching these milestones is a testament to the Green Bank Network members’ commitment to mobilizing private investment into low-carbon, climate-resilient, and inclusive infrastructure. Some highlights of recent transactions that help achieve these goals include the following:
 
The CEFC, Australia’s green bank, seeded a cleantech venture fund manager and launched a $300 million program to reduce embodied carbon in construction by using low-carbon engineered wood at scale to provide a greener alternative to steel and concrete. Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced, among other transactions, a loan to fund a new energy-efficient administration and maintenance facility, which will include solar panels and charging stations for a fleet of electric vehicles. DC Green Bank announced the closing of a $1.8 million permanent loan facility for a newly completed community solar project in Washington, D.C.
 
In other news, Connecticut Green Bank successfully closed its initial Green Liberty Notes offering, allowing citizens to make an investment to combat climate change for as little as $100. In its most recent Quarterly Report, NY Green Bank announced that the fund committed $103 million across six new investments in the last quarter of 2021 that are expected to deliver 376,691 metric tons of annual GHG reductions to New Yorkers.
 
The GBN welcomed two new members last November. Banco de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais (BDMG) is a state-level development bank in Brazil. BDMG is our first member that is a development bank, an important sector for growing the green bank model. DC Green Bank is our first city-level green bank member. We are excited to have BDMG and DC Green Bank on board!


Happy reading, 

NRDC 
Green Bank Network Secretariat

Table of Contents:

  1. Recent Green Bank Transactions
  2. Green Bank Growth
  3. Reports and White Papers

Recent Green Bank Transactions

Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The CEFC is continuing to lead the market in seeding a new specialist cleantech venture fund manager, Virescent Ventures, to boost private sector investment and growth in the cleantech sector. 

Virescent Ventures will manage the Clean Energy Innovation Fund on behalf of the CEFC and is aiming for a $200 million capital raise, seeking investment from wholesale investors such as superannuation funds, strategic investors and large family offices. 

The CEFC has also launched its $300 million Timber Building Program which is looking to transform Australia’s approach to large-scale building construction by encouraging mass timber construction across the property sector.  

The program will make debt finance available for projects that use low carbon engineered wood products in large-scale construction. The program is backed by research that shows using timber can reduce embodied carbon in construction by up to 75 per cent compared to the use of conventional steel and concrete. 

In other investment news:  

  • The CEFC has committed $80 million to the IFM Investors Private Equity Growth Partners Fund which invests in and supports Australian-based mid-market growth companies. The fund investment strategy aims to accelerate emissions reduction activities in these companies and demonstrate the significant value that a focus on sustainability can bring to the private equity investment class. 

  • Blue Grass Solar Farm will benefit from a $37 million CEFC commitment. The Queensland project uses bifacial solar panels and half-cut cells technology to increase performance and efficiency.  It is expected to abate emissions by approximately 320,000 tCO2-e a year.  

  • The CEFC has also committed up to $8.5 million to the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park, a multi-staged project that will investigate deployment of various technologies at utility scale, including solar, wind, battery storage and potentially green hydrogen. The project will deliver clean energy to the National Electricity Market and help replace the electricity supply that will be lost when the Yallourn coal-fired power station closes. 

  • The CEFC has extended its commitment to JET Charge which is a leader in electric vehicle smart charging infrastructure and technology. The CEFC has committed a total of up to $9.5 million to help accelerate the growth of JET Charge. 

  • Downforce Technologies Limited has won the backing of a $1.6 million CEFC investment that will enable the company to take the next step in developing and commercialising its data-based technology that cuts the cost of measuring and monitoring soil health and carbon levels. 

  • The CEFC has also committed $1.1 million to Samsara Eco, which is developing a process that breaks down plastics to their original building blocks, enabling them to be reused in new plastics and avoiding the constraints of existing recycling technologies. 

See the latest transactions and announcements on the CEFC website

Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank announced that it will be jointly administering a statewide electric storage program in an effort to foster a more reliable and resilient electric distribution system, especially for vulnerable communities. Commercial and industrial customers will be eligible for upfront incentives, with a maximum incentive of 50% of the project cost. Additional incentives will be available for those who would most benefit from increased resilience measures, such as low-income customers, customers in underserved communities, small businesses, and customers who historically experience the most frequent and longest duration storm-related outages. The nine-year program officially launched on January 1, 2022 and will continue through at least December 31, 2030. 

In January, the Connecticut Green Bank announced that CGB Green Liberty Notes LLC, a subsidiary of the Connecticut Green Bank, has closed their first crowdfunding investment offering, successfully raising 180% of its target ($180,000) in a month. The Green Liberty Notes allowed citizens to invest in the Green Bank’s mission to confront climate change with as little as $100. This initial offering of one-year maturity 1% coupon notes received an average investment of $1,600 and 75% of investments were $1,000 or less. Future issuances of Green Liberty Notes are expected every three months. 

See all of Connecticut Green Bank’s latest transactions and announcements on the Connecticut Green Bank website.
 

DC Green Bank

The Green Bank Network welcomes DC Green Bank as its newest member. DC Green Bank has a unique mandate to accelerate a transition for the District to a clean and inclusive economy for all residents. The DC Green Bank aims to accomplish these goals by offering innovative financing solutions that prioritize making the clean economy inclusive and affordable for all DC residents, businesses, and community institutions. They invest in four core focus areas: solar energy, a clean and efficient built environment, stormwater management and infrastructure, and transportation electrification.

In January, the DC Green Bank announced the closing of a $1.8 million permanent loan facility for a newly completed community solar project in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C. The long-term facility will support the recently completed community solar installation in the Fairfax Village community in Southeast D.C., which is slated to deliver as much as $2.3 million in electricity savings over the next 15 years – cutting energy bills in half for more than 200 low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents across the District – and reduce nearly 1,000 tons of CO2-equivalent annually.

In January, the DC Green Bank and City First Enterprises announced the closing of a $2.8 million investment partnership for small businesses in the District and to bolster the bank’s Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) Financing program. Small businesses can now apply for up to $150,000 in loans with interest rates as low as 3% through the new fund, and multifamily, commercial, or industrial property owners and commercial tenants can access up to $250,000 through CLEER to upgrade to clean energy systems, increase stormwater resilience, and improve energy efficiency. This partnership is a major step forward for DC Green Bank and City First Enterprises as they work toward existing goals to limit DC’s carbon emissions, support local businesses, and grow the clean economy in the District.

In February, DC Green Bank announced the closing of a nearly $2 million comprehensive debt facility to bolster Together Solar’s existing solar portfolio and support an expansion of solar deployment across the District. The loan facility will provide permanent financing for one of the region’s largest portfolios of existing solar installations, with a focus on the provision of solar to non-profits and faith-based institutions in the city. In addition, the deal also includes a revolving credit facility to develop and deploy additional solar installations for Together Solar’s community service-focused prospective customers.

In February, DC Green Bank announced a $255,728, 1.99% interest rate Navigator loan with local nonprofit affordable housing developer Mi Casa, Inc. The loan will support the financing of pre-development costs for a mixed-use and mixed-income construction project in Ward 5.  The completed building is expected to deliver 27 units of affordable housing in addition to 3,000 square feet of new office space on the ground floor for Mi Casa’s headquarters, as well as additional space for community use. The building design aims to achieve “near net-zero” energy efficiency standards, prioritize the placement of solar on the roof of the structure, and deliver designated green spaces around the building for residents.

In March, DC Green Bank closed its first investment as part of its Community Impact Initiative (CII) pilot program. CII is designed to provide technical support and affordable financing for community-serving institutions across the city, including health centers, education facilities, faith-based institutions, and more, to upgrade their buildings and facilities to save money and contribute to our collective climate and energy goals. The first project under this program is a more than $500,000 investment to upgrade the cooling systems of one of the oldest historically Black churches in the nation – Shiloh Baptist Church. Investments like this increase the efficiency of the cooling system for the congregation, reduce emissions, increase operating cash flow for the church, and demonstrate climate leadership for others in the community to follow.

See all of DC Green Bank's latest transactions and announcements on the DC Green Bank website

NY Green Bank

According to NY Green Bank’s (“NYGB”) most recent Quarterly Report, the fund committed $103.0 million across six new investments during the quarter ended December 31, 2021. NYGB’s investments are expected to deliver 376,691 metric tons of annual GHG emissions reductions to New Yorkers, a 50% increase year-over-year. These GHG emissions reductions will further increase as NYGB’s counterparties continue to draw down on capital commitments to fund new clean energy project installations, and NYGB continues to close new transactions in 2022 and beyond. 

In October 2021, NYGB and CIT entered into an agreement with Amp Solar Group Inc. to provide up to $63.1 million in tax equity bridge and construction-to-term loan facilities for a portfolio of community distributed generation (“CDG”) solar plus energy storage projects. NYGB’s commitment to the deal is $29.2 million.  

In November 2021, NYGB entered into an agreement with RiseBoro Community Partnership, Inc. and United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, Inc. to lend up to $2.6 million to fund predevelopment expenses for services like architecture, engineering, and surveys to enable the developers to secure construction financing to develop a vacant site into a certified Passive House 140-unit affordable housing residential housing development.  

In December 2021, NYGB committed up to $54.0 million to a construction-to-term facility to finance the construction, ownership and operation of a portfolio of CDG solar projects in NYS. This transaction is expected to provide NYS residents and businesses with a greater variety of energy choices and lower-cost clean energy opportunities. 

In December 2021, NYGB increased its existing senior-secured revolving credit facility with Sealed Inc, an energy service provider, by $10.0 million. This transaction will enable Sealed to expand its current operations and complete additional energy-saving improvements in homes in NYS.  

In December 2021, NYGB provided a 36-month senior secured $5.0 million bridge loan facility to ELP BV II, LLC, an entity that owns projects developed by East Light Partners PBC. East Light will use proceeds from the loan to finance late-stage development costs for CDG and large scale solar photovoltaic projects.  

In May 2019, NYGB provided a 24-month senior secured $1.0 million bridge loan facility to SUN8 PDC, LLC. In December 2021, NYGB increased its outstanding commitment by $2.2 million to support additional projects in the SUNX portfolio. Bridge loan proceeds will finance project interconnection advance payments for CDG solar projects.  

See all of NYGB’s latest transactions and announcements on the NYGB website.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank

In January, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced a $20 million loan to the Kent County Water Authority, enabling the Authority to move forward with the construction of a new energy efficient administration and maintenance facility in West Greenwich. The new facility will feature solar panels and charging stations for a fleet of electric vehicles. The new building will include a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, LED lighting, and enhanced insulation. Combined, these elements will result in significant energy cost savings for the Authority and our customers while simultaneously moving toward our 100/100 goal to provide 100 % of the water service utilizing 100 % renewable energy sources.  

In March, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced an $810,000 loan and $200,000 in principal forgiveness for safe drinking water upgrades to Ponaganset High School’s water system. The project is being financed via the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), which provides below-market interest rate loans to community public water systems, nonprofit noncommunity public water systems, privately organized water suppliers, and local governmental units to complete water infrastructure projects.  

See all of the RIIB’s latest transactions and announcements on the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank website.
Tata Cleantech Capital Limited

Tata Cleantech Capital Limited (TCCL) has announced new transactions, continuing its leadership in clean energy funding in India. A snapshot of the TCCL lending portfolio up to January 2022 is given below:

In addition to funding renewable energy sectors like wind energy and solar ground-mounted & rooftop projects across India, TCCL has increased its focus on Electric Mobility & Energy Efficiency sectors. Under Energy Efficiency, the key areas of focus for TCCL are Data Centers and Energy storage. 

Given below is a brief on a couple of unique transactions that TCCL has funded in the past six months: 

  • TCCL has committed funding of ~USD 20 mn to a large steel company to set up an energy-efficient Air Separation Unit to cater to the requirement of Industrial gases for expansion of its current manufacturing capacity. Setting up a captive industrial gases plant will enable the Company to manage the cost in a better manner. The project would result in energy efficiency and cost savings for the Steel manufacturer. 15% energy cost consumed in manufacturing per MT of Steel & also cost optimization in gas procurement ~25% saving in cost per/MT of Steel 

  • TCCL has recently committed bridge loan funding of ~USD 50 mn for a Pumped Storage Hydro Power project in a leading state in India with a power generation capacity of 1,440MW and ~10,397 MWh of energy storage capacity. The unique feature of a Pumped storage project is that it provides an optimal, economically viable & scalable solution to supply Schedulable Power On-Demand (SPOD) with both base load and peak load capabilities. Pumped storage solutions provide the necessary scale (large volume of energy storage) and have a long-life cycle resulting in lowest cost of delivered SPOD energy. 

Apart from the lending business, TCCL also focuses on providing Cleantech Advisory to clients. A snapshot of a couple of assignments taken up by TCCL is provided below: 

  • TCCL is currently advising JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in a Green Finance Survey. Through this survey, JICA would like to understand India’s green finance market and to identify the bottlenecks for private capital mobilization. The outcome of the survey will help JICA decide its future measures and finance programs to be executed in India to enhance clean energy financing in the country. 

  • TCCL is assisting the largest private Bank in India, in their endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint of 18 of their largest facilities located in 7 states in India.  The supply of green power to these facilities is proposed through the open access mechanism.  TCCL has been engaged to study the regulations in each state and optimize the cost of power supplied either through self-owned or third-party-owned renewable energy plants. As part of this exercise, TCCL will also specify, bid, evaluate and give their recommendations to the Bank. 

Green Bank Growth

The following selection of recent activities around the globe highlight efforts to develop and launch green banks and catalytic green finance institutions.

Australia:
The CEFC has announced a major milestone – passing $10 billion in lifetime investment commitments to help accelerate Australia’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050. 

CEFC lifetime investment commitments of $10.3 billion are supporting transactions valued at more than $36.5 billion. These projects are making a positive difference right across the economy and are forecast to avoid estimated lifetime emissions of 200 MtCO2-e. 

Since it began investing, the CEFC has drawn $5.4 billion from its original Australian Government funding allocation of $10 billion, meaning it has access to a further $4.6 billion and considerable headroom for ongoing investment.  

Each dollar committed by the CEFC matched by additional private sector capital of $2.50, with the commercial investment focus seeing $2.8 billion in CEFC capital repaid or returned since inception, so it is available for reinvestment. 

View the video message from CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth. 

United States:
In a major milestone, the Connecticut Green Bank announced that it had exceeded $2 billion of cumulative investment in the state’s green economy, according to the Green Bank’s recently released annual report. Since July 2011, the Green Bank has mobilized $288.4 million in public dollars to attract $1.85 billion in private investment, a leverage ratio of $7.40 for every $1. 

In 2017, The Nevada Senate established an independent, nonprofit corporation called the Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF)—a green bank designed to provide innovative financing and market solutions to accelerate the development of clean energy projects in Nevada. NCEF officially launched in January 2022 with the announcement of its inaugural executive director, Kirsten Stasio. NCEF has received in-kind startup support from the Coalition for Green Capital, a non-profit that specializes in the development of green banks (and former co-Secretariat of the GBN), in addition to support from the Governor’s Office of Energy through repurposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

India: 
Tata Cleantech Capital Limited announced its' portfolio has crossed the ~USD 1 bn mark in January 2022 comprising more than 225 Cleantech projects funded since its inception. The total value of Cleantech projects supported is ~USD 4.1 bn and the total estimated CO2 equivalent emissions avoided (lifetime) is ~16.9m MT. 

Reports and Whitepapers

Connecticut Green Bank: 2021 Post Bond Issuance Verification Report

In February, The Connecticut Green Bank has released its 2021 Post-Issuance Green Bond Report which contains the third-party verifier’s reports on the use of funds as well as internal reporting regarding the impact of the funds raised through our bond issuances. This report includes the 2020 and 2021 Green Liberty Bonds that were backed by Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits (SHRECs). The Connecticut Green Bank views Green Bonds as a key tool to raise the needed capital to confront climate change and other pressing environmental issues. Bond issuances are a cost-effective method for sourcing capital and, as we demonstrated through the Green Liberty Bonds issued in 2021, are an excellent opportunity to engage the community. Through these Bonds, the Connecticut Green Bank grows awareness of climate issues and provides a way for more people to invest in solutions.  
NZGIF Quarterly Update

New Zealand Green Investment Finance will be launching a Quarterly Update for stakeholders and interested parties. Sign up here to keep up to date with their portfolio performance, organizational news, market insights, and updates.
 
See more white papers covering the green bank model on the GBN website's Knowledge Center.
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