NY Green Bank to raise private capital

President Alfred Griffin told us he wants ‘to put substantial capital to work’ as the green bank eyes a more ‘national footprint’.

The NY Green Bank is planning to raise private institutional capital in a move that could allow it to expand its footprint outside New York.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the clean energy finance institution's expansion last week to better leverage public dollars. NY Green Bank was created in 2013 to help spur private-sector investments in clean energy projects and companies. It has since deployed $400 million of public money across 21 projects, matched with private investments.

Griffin told Infrastructure Investor there is a large pool of private capital ready to invest in clean energy. He said the NY Green Bank now has the experience and project pipeline to raise capital.

“Our intentions are to raise private capital at the portfolio level,” he explained. “We have the ability to put substantial capital to work in a way that delivers greater benefits to ratepayers.”

By raising funds and not solely using public money, Griffin said NY Green Bank can begin financing projects outside New York and have more of a “national footprint”.

In June, the bank reported its first profit at $2.7 million – one year ahead of schedule.

The finance institution appears to be following a similar path taken by the UK Green Investment Bank. Created in 2012 to help mobilise private investments into clean energy, the GIB – sold earlier this year to Macquarie in a £2.3 billion ($2.9 billion; €2.7 billion) deal – raised £1 billion from the private sector to close the world's first offshore wind fund.

Griffin said NY Green Bank is in the early stages of expanding its mandate and the next step is to hire an advisor by the end of the year.

The bank is part of New York's 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund. Some of its notable transactions include $13.5 million, along with US Bank, in small-scale wind developer United Wind, $25 million committed to residential solar provider Sunrun, and a $200 million partnership with Investec to fund Solar Mosaic.