- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) this week announced the state's Green Bank is seeking at least $1 billion in additional private sector funding to help grow clean energy projects in the state. To date, the conservation-focused lending entity has enabled $1.4 billion in investment.
- The bank's "robust track record" has drawn the attention of third-party entities like pension funds and insurance companies, who are interested in clean energy investments, Cuomo's office said. The bank will also be working with other states to help them establish similar entities.
- The next step in finding additional funding will be for the Green Bank to issue a request for proposals for advisory services, to evaluate options for structuring and facilitating the request. That RFP is expected out by the end of the year.
New York's Green Bank has been a success, driving almost $1.4 billion in investment in the state. That success has attracted interest from other investors while also setting up New York to begin funding projects outside of the state.
"Extreme weather has become the new normal," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement. "We must take action to protect our environment and ensure a more sustainable future." She said the bank is the largest public-private clean energy finance entity of its kind in the United States and "will ensure a cleaner, greener and more economically beneficial future for New York."
The bank will also begin working with other states and entities to help establish local green banks outside of New York. The NY Green Bank may provide "financing along with mid- and back-office services, due diligence, underwriting and general technical support," according to the announcement.
NYGB President Alfred Griffin said in a statement that the bank has been pleased with the response it's seen from institutional investors seeking to deploy capital into sustainable infrastructure. "We're delighted to be able to announce our intentions to raise another $1 billion for the financing of clean energy projects beyond New York State," he said, adding that the bank's track record and team "make us well positioned to tap into emerging clean energy markets."
Green banks are gaining traction as a tool to help fund clean energy projects. Last year, NYGB announced a plan to increase its portfolio by two-thirds, mainly by investing in larger clean energy projects.
In 2015, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report showing how green banks could help states meet renewable energy targets. In addition to New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Iowa and Massachusetts all have green banks. Last March, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she would introduce legislation to establish a green bank in order to fund efficiency upgrades, add renewables, lower emissions and create jobs in the nation's capital.