Quick energy efficiency news for this week…
The Obama administration announced today that private investors have committed $4 billion to fund clean energy projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The funding represents a doubling of the White House’s orginal $2 billion goal for the program.
The money will come from hundreds of organizations, among them major foundations, institutional investors, and other long-term investors, including the University of California, Goldman Sachs, and the Sierra Club Foundation.
The funding was one of several announcements by the White House to hasten development of clean energy.
The administration also said that it is improving financing options through the Small Business Administration for private investment funds seeking long-term capital, including early-stage investors in capital-intensive clean energy technologies.
In addition, it will launch a new Clean Energy Impact Investment Center to help the public and investors better understand clean energy research by federal laboratories. And the Treasury Department will take action to assist charitable foundations investing in clean energy and other potentially “mission-aligned sectors” in the coming months.
Citi and Renew Financial recently closed the first ever asset-backed security (ABS) transaction comprised of unsecured consumer energy efficiency loans.
The landmark transaction – in which Renew Financial and Citi issued $12.58 million in securities – creates a new asset class in the form of ABS backed by pools of residential energy efficiency loans. Citi and Renew Financial expect to execute additional transactions over the next several years, firmly establishing a secondary market for these loans to make more capital available for homeowners to fund energy efficiency improvements . Calvert Investment Management purchased the entire issuance.
The deal represents the first securitization transaction from the Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL). Announced last year, WHEEL is an innovative public-private partnership to create a national financing platform to bring low-cost, large-scale capital to government and utility-sponsored residential energy efficiency loan programs.
WHEEL represents acollaboration among national leaders in finance and energy, including Citi, Renew Financial, Pennsylvania Treasury, the National Association of State Energy Officials, Energy Programs Consortium and a growing number of states and utilities. Pennsylvania, Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance have all joined WHEEL, and numerous additional states are expected to join soon.
Through the program, homeowners can borrow up to $20,000 at very competitive rates to make a range of improvements to their homes, such as HVAC equipment, water heaters, roofing, insulation, windows and energy efficient appliances.
The California Energy Commission has awarded a $3 million grant for an ‘Internet of Energy’ project being developed by Growing Energy Labs (Geli) and ProspectSV at San Mateo County Community College College.
The project will demonstrate an advanced solar plus storage system that improves grid stability and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, it will use advanced energy and demand management to reduce grid variability and increase renewable energy yields.
The campus offers a unique opportunity to study and evaluate the networked energy system because it has several energy efficiency systems. The project is expected to save the college $150,000 or more annually.
“We are thrilled to host this advanced energy system at College of San Mateo. It will not only lower our energy costs and further advance our vision of becoming net zero, it will provide a learning lab for training our workforce on leading edge technology,” said Ron Galatolo, college district chancellor.
The project is slated to begin this summer and be deployed in late-2016.
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