NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Carbon War Room, an independent non-profit, founded by Sir Richard Branson, that harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock gigaton solutions to climate change, announced today the launch of a new consortium that will unlock billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for US commercial real estate.
The PACE Commercial Consortium (PCC) integrates the program management and engineering best practices of Lockheed Martin, the financial sophistication of Barclays Capital and the pioneering insurance partnership of Energi and HannoverRe in an end-to-end solution administered by the team’s leader, Ygrene Energy Fund.
Today's announcement highlights an immediate potential market opportunity of $550 million in funding for the cities in Miami-Dade County, Florida that join the Green Corridor PACE district for investment in commercial and industrial real estate. This funding can generate up to $1.8 billion in economic activity in Miami-Dade County, experts say. The Consortium sees the additional potential for an initial $100 million market in the city of Sacramento, CA, which will stimulate an additional $530 million in economic activity. The Consortium is confident these cities' programs could stimulate $2.3 billion and more than 17,000 jobs in the combined cities.
“The PACE Commercial Consortium is the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle for cities looking to implement green plans,” said Carbon War Room founder Sir Richard Branson. “The Carbon War Room has been working with its partners to solve this puzzle for over 18 months as part of our Green Capital Global Challenge operation. I’m thrilled by the news of this ground-breaking mechanism, and believe it will unlock a trillion dollar market for green retrofits, creating jobs and growth around the world. There is simply no other source of economic growth with these characteristics.”
Launched in 2010 at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Green Capital Global Challenge (GCGC) aims to mobilize billions of dollars of currently idle private capital into city-led energy efficiency initiatives. Green Capital Global Challenge Director, Murat Armbruster, conceived of the PACE Commercial Consortium and introduced the member companies to one another during the Carbon War Room’s Creating Climate Wealth North America Summit in May this year.
“These investments are 100% private capital. There is no government debt or cost involved. The markets can supply this financing because the economics are sound, engineering performance is insured, the security is strong, and clean energy capital assets are profitable,” said Brian McCarthy, CEO of Energi Insurance Services.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation enables property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Twenty-six states in the United States, along with Australia, and New Zealand, have enacted legislation enabling the secure and scalable financing PACE structure.
The Green Corridor group of cities, initiated by the Town of Cutler Bay in Miami-Dade, Florida, and Sacramento, CA are the first municipalities to sign contracts with the Consortium’s California-based PACE finance administrator, Ygrene Energy.
“The PACE Commercial and Industrial Program brings the Green Corridor a privately financed jobs program that will bend the emissions curve in Miami-Dade County and make the Green Corridor an example to the rest of country of what is possible, especially at a time when our construction trades so desperately need the work,” said Steve Alexander, leader of Miami-Dade’s Green Corridor District.
The U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, a U.S. industry partner, has organized its building owner members to retrofit their properties and operations, as PACE financing becomes available:
“Corporate America can lead this huge jobs program with private capital, because clean energy is also profitable energy, once this financing structure is in place,” said Andy Mangan, Director of the US BCSD.
Lockheed Martin, the Consortium’s engineering partner, will employ its program management and energy services capabilities to guarantee the technologies deployed on select PACE-financed projects.
In partnering with this consortium, Lockheed Martin is delivering a solution set to commercial and industrial customers that it has long delivered to utilities and the Federal government.
“At Lockheed Martin, we believe that we have the ability and responsibility to address our Nation’s energy and climate challenges,” said Frank Armijo, Vice President for Energy Solutions, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions – Civil. “By implementing these clean energy projects, we will reduce the energy consumption, carbon emissions and operating costs of the existing building stock, thereby increasing commercial property values for our customers.”
Energi will provide Energy Savings Warranties (ESWs) to insure these savings guarantees, reducing the risk and lowering the cost often associated with such projects.
The Carbon War Room is now bringing this first mechanism, one of a series of corporate consortia, to the thirty cities currently participating in the Green Capital Global Challenge as a means of implementing green city plans that for the most part had been put on hold since the economic crash in October 2008. One of these member cities is Los Angeles:
"The County of Los Angeles has invested tremendous time and effort into creating a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) District which forms the basis for this huge job creation potential in southern California. We are now on the verge of that effort paying off," said Howard Choy, General Manager, Office of Sustainability at Los Angeles County.
By redirecting this existing cash flow into clean energy capital assets, the Consortium hopes to create a responsible debt instrument built upon sound economics.
“It is a myth that switching off of fossil energy onto clean energy is costly. Quite the contrary, building clean energy capital assets is both profitable and a huge boost to economic growth. Clean energy has no fuel cost; it is harvested by the use of capital assets. Properly structured investment in harvesting clean energy is the key to solving the current economic problem,” said Dennis Hunter, Chairman and CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund.
The Carbon War Room will be presenting the first consortium at BusinessClimate 2011 as part of New York Climate Week today. Further “deal days” are planned with selected groups of technology and finance providers for Copenhagen - Denmark, Vilnius - Lithuania, and Singapore in coming months.
In place in California since 2008, PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) enables municipal governments to tap private capital markets to finance renewable energy and efficiency improvements for residential and commercial properties such as solar panels, insulation and HVAC, which reduce utility bills to more than offset the tax bill increase. The program sees property owners benefit from increased real estate values, occupants from lower utility bills and municipalities from local job creation. Financed on a project by project basis, the program has so far resulted in 2,800 projects worth $65 million in three states. Research indicates this has contributed to $162 million in local economic impact, creating 1,000 new jobs. The UK government recently announced plans for the 2012 launch of a program similar to PACE, which could offer new business opportunities to US firms in Europe.
About the Carbon War Room
The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock gigaton-scale, market-driven solutions to climate change. Over 50% of the climate change challenge can be addressed today — and profitably — under existing policy and technology conditions. We seek to facilitate a better flow of capital to entrepreneurial solutions that make economic sense right now.
About Barclays Capital
Barclays Capital is the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC. With a distinctive business model, Barclays Capital provides large corporate, government and institutional clients with a full spectrum of solutions to their strategic advisory, financing and risk management needs. Barclays Capital has offices around the world, employs 25,000 people and has the global reach, advisory services and distribution power to meet the needs of issuers and investors worldwide. For further information about Barclays Capital, please visit the Company's website www.barclayscapital.com
Contact: Kristin Friel; Kristin.Friel@barclayscapital.com
In the spring of 2006 Dennis Hunter and Alan Strachan established the Green Energy Loan program to bring private funding to the problem of climate change. In the summer of 2008, California’s landmark AB 811 made possible a much better model in the form of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. Almost immediately Palm Desert and Sonoma County took advantage of the legislation to establish local programs. Sonoma County’s government funded SCEIP program, under the direction of Treasurer Rod Dole (now a member of Ygrene's Board of Directors), achieved singular success. Recognizing the potential for PACE and the role private capital could play in its growth, Ygrene entered into discussions with Barclays Capital to secure the sophisticated financial partner that would provide the route to the bond market.. With strategic and tactical partnerships in place around the country, Ygrene is now in a position to offer no-cost PACE program design, administration and funding to cities and counties throughout the U.S.
Contact: Alan Strachan; firstname.lastname@example.org; 1-707-332-4456
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
Contact: Liz Morse; Elizabeth.email@example.com; 1-240-688-7835
Energi is an Industrial Reinsurance Company that provides specialized risk management and insurance programs to targeted sectors of the energy industry. Energi is leading development and underwriting of innovative insurance products to deliver critical protections for alternative energy and energy efficiency warranties. These covers mitigate the performance risk inherent in energy efficiency retrofits, commercial solar projects, and alternative energy product manufacturing.
Contact: Angela Ferrante; firstname.lastname@example.org; 1-978-531-1822
About BusinessClimate 2011
To attend; www.carbonrational.com