Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green Bank – designed to reduce New York’s dependence on state subsidies to grow its clean energy market – has assembled a management team and is looking for banks and energy companies to help it fund projects.
The governor has projected a $1 billion balance sheet for the Green Bank, which is a subsidiary of NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
So far, NYSERDA has redirected $165.5 million from other programs to the Green Bank, and another $52.9 million will go toward the new program from the state’s proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for power plants in northeastern states.
Now, the Green Bank is asking for the private sector to put some cash into the effort. On Feb. 5, the Green Bank published a request-for-proposals seeking bids by lenders and energy companies to come up with financing programs they would be willing to fund in the clean-tech sector.
Private-sector funding for clean-tech and renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind farms has been scarce because of the volatility of the renewable energy markets and the need for government subsidies to match the profitability of traditional producers such as coal and natural gas power plants.
The Green Bank is looking not only for banks, but also developers, equipment manufacturers and other types of energy companies, to participate in the loan programs it envisions.
There doesn’t appear to be a deadline for companies and banks to submit proposals to the Green Bank, although the Green Bank has told the state Public Service Commission in a recent filing that it hopes to conduct its first transaction by June or July, which means that participants would have to be selected within the next several months.
The Green Bank, based in New York City, also told the PSC that it has started hiring key staff under the Green Bank’s first president, Alfred Griffin, who used to work for Citigroup Global Markets.
The new hires include a managing director, two senior associates and one associate in charge of investments and portfolio management, as well as an attorney to serve as the Green Bank’s general counsel.
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