NY Green Bank wants $1 billion to expand financing for clean energy

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but when it comes to clean-energy investment, few states are committing as many funds to the goal as New York.

Just since January 1, the state has invested $11 million in community microgrids, committed to procuring $1.5 billion in renewable energy, approved an energy-storage target and identified 850 sites it plans to use the Solarize plan to add solar to communities.

If solar’s growth in the state is any indication, the investments are paying off. Over the past five years, installed solar has grown 795% in the state.

But if Governor Andrew Cuomo’s latest initiative takes off, the state may not only increase its own clean-energy investments, it might be coming to other states soon.

Last week, Cuomo announced that the NY Green Bank, an organization designed to improve clean-energy financing, is seeking $1 billion in private-sector investments to expand the financing options available to clean-energy projects exponentially.

“As the federal government turns its back on solutions to climate change while denying reality, New York is doubling down on our efforts to act on the clean energy future,” Cuomo said in his announcement. “This expansion of the NY Green Bank will combat climate change while creating good-paying clean energy jobs across the state, helping to secure a cleaner and greener tomorrow for all New Yorkers.”

To date, the NY Green bank has spurred almost $1.4 billion in clean-energy investments in the state, which has peaked the interest of outside entities, including pension funds and insurance companies, looking for forward-looking investments. As a result, the state says it has been approached to be a financing vehicle in other states.

A portion of the $1 billion would be used to invest in other states’ clean-energy projects and expand the transaction scale NY Green Bank can handle.

NY Green Bank says will be issuing a request for proposals by the end of the year for advisory services to help it raise the funds.

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