Written By: Emma Websdale
New York’s first bank committed to boosting investment and deployment of clean technologies is to be launched in early 2014, after the state’s Governor confirmed an initial US$210 million (£128 million) in funding.
The announcement, made by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, is part of a collaboration between the Public Service Commission (PSC), which invested $165 million, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which invested $45 million.
Expecting later capitalization of the project with US$1 billion, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York Green Bank would help leverage the development of clean energy, create jobs and help make communities more resilient and sustainable.
“With this funding we will attract greater investment in New York, accelerate clean energy deployment, and modernize our grid”, says Governor Cuomo. “Working hand-in-hand with the private sector, the New York Green Bank will also promote job growth, improve air quality, and provide New Yorkers with greater choice and value for their money.”
The Green Bank, in collaboration with private sector institutions, will provide financial products including credit enhancement, loan loss reserves and loan bundling to support clean energy investment security and build secondary markets.
“The Green Bank will contribute to the important public goals and policies that the Public Service Commission has established for the State’s clean energy programs”, says Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman. “Furthermore, the bank will encourage the private sector to support projects which will result in reduced emissions, increased renewable energy generation capacity, improved system resiliency, and a cleaner environment.”
Aiming to mobilize private investment in clean energy projects, the New York Green Bank is expected to offer its first financial products in early 2014. Long term, Governor Cuomo hopes that the new green bank will reduce the need for clean energy subsidies, and will, over the next 20 years, increase tenfold the amount of private capital available to clean energy markets.
New York’s commitment to a greener future is evident in other areas as well. In November, the city’s mayor announced that NYC would transform one of the world’s largest landfill sites into the location of a 10-megawatt (MW) solar plant that will produce enough clean energy to power 20,000 homes. Furthermore, improvements in the city’s air quality have made 2013 the cleanest in over 50 years, preventing nearly 800 pollution-related deaths and 2,000 hospitalizations annually.