What began as a seed over a decade ago has grown to an all-out effort to fund Green Autos to Zero energy. Read the where, why and how's from Richard Kaufman and video from Alexia Melendez Martineau!
Richard Kauffman, the chair of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority who launched the green bank, cited the community solar project as an example of how such financial institutions can be put to their best use. Before the New York green bank got involved, traditional lenders were hesitant to approve funding for community solar projects because of the potential financial risks attached to such initiatives.
The New York green bank helped mitigate those risks by wading through the documentation and contracts involved in the project while also starting to lend out funds at a low interest rate. Those green bank loans established a record of repayment that then made traditional lenders more comfortable with putting their own money toward community solar initiatives, broadening the implementation of such programs.
“The intent of the green bank in New York was to provide financing for these projects where the problem was not the cost of financing, but the availability of financing,” Kauffman said. “There are many community solar projects across the state now. They really benefited from the pioneering role that the green bank took on to establish the market.”
State and local banks have indeed helped identify the vast need for such lending institutions in the US. Reed Hundt, former chair of the Federal Communications Commission under Bill Clinton and co-founder of the Coalition for Green Capital, said his group had identified $21bn worth of backlogged clean energy projects at state and local green banks.
The national green bank will help address that backlog while providing a more streamlined process to get clean energy projects up and running at the local level.
Enjoy the Plug In America video