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Cuomo announces $210 million to jump start Green Bank

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced $210 million in initial funding for the NY Green Bank, which he calls a new market-oriented approach to accelerate clean-energy deployment, create jobs, and help make New York communities more “resilient and sustainable.”

NY Green Bank is a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), according to the NY Green Bank website.

Initial funding includes $165 million redirected from other programs that the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Thursday. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) provided the remaining $45 million, the governor’s office said in a news release.

With the PSC approval, the NY Green Bank is expected to open for business and offer its first financial products in early 2014, Cuomo’s office said.

Cuomo proposed the creation of a $1 billion Green Bank in his 2013 State of the State address as the “financial engine” that will mobilize private investment in clean-energy projects.

The funding will help attract “greater investment” in New York, accelerate clean- energy deployment, and modernize the state’s grid, Cuomo said in the news release.

The NY Green Bank will partner with private-sector institutions and provide financial products such as credit enhancement, loan-loss reserves, and loan bundling to support securitization and build secondary markets.

These products will support “economically viable” clean-energy projects that cannot currently access financing due to market barriers, such as federal-policy uncertainty, insufficient-performance data, and the lack of publicly traded capital markets for clean energy, the governor contends.

As part of its oversight function, the PSC will work with the NY Green Bank to ensure financial offerings meet the investment criteria set forth in the PSC guidelines and will review and monitor quarterly progress reports, the governor’s office said.

New York’s Green Bank will target existing market barriers which currently prevent the “widespread” deployment of clean energy, Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York, said in the news release.

He also serves as chairman of NYSERDA, according to its website.

“Given these obstacles in financing, merely setting up a competitive market that offers the promise of choice offers only that: a promise unrealized if projects cannot obtain financing. The Green Bank is just one component of the state’s new chapter on energy policy that focuses on enabling self-sustaining private markets and reducing dependence on subsidies,” Kauffman said.

 

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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