Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced $210 million in initial funding for NY Green Bank, a new market oriented approach aimed at speeding up clean energy deployment, creating jobs, and making communities more sustainable.
The funding combines $165 million redirected from other programs and approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and $45 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
“With this funding we will attract greater investment in New York, accelerate clean energy deployment, and modernize our grid,” Governor Cuomo said.
“Working hand-in-hand with the private sector, the New York Green Bank will also promote job growth, improve air quality, and provide New Yorkers with greater choice and value for their money.”
With the PSC approval, the NY Green Bank is expected to open for business and offer its first financial products in early 2014.
Governor 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.
“New York’s Green Bank will target existing market barriers which currently prevent the widespread deployment of clean energy,” said Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy & Finance for New York State.
“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.”
“The Green Bank will contribute to the important public goals and policies that the Public Service Commission has established for the State’s clean energy programs,” said Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman.
“Furthermore, the bank will encourage the private sector to support projects which will result in reduced emissions, increased renewable energy generation capacity, improved system resiliency, and a cleaner environment.”
The NY Green Bank will partner with private sector institutions by providing 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.
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 Order and will review and monitor quarterly progress reports.
“Affordable, reliable energy is key for economic growth across New York. Through the Green Bank, Governor Cuomo, the PSC and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority are taking positive actions to balance today’s energy needs with our longer term objectives to transition to a cost-effective, clean energy system,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council.
“The Business Council supports the market transformative opportunities that will be promoted through the Green Bank.”