Reinvestment Fund is looking to help neighborhood-level clean energy projects - Technical.ly Baltimore

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May 25, 2018 12:59 pm

Reinvestment Fund is looking to help neighborhood-level clean energy projects

The $12.5M fund is looking to provide loans to nonprofits and businesses. It's one part of the Fund's work in Baltimore.

Solar panels.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A social enterprise–focused lending organization with an active office in Baltimore has a new fund focused on energy efficiency and cleantech projects.

This spring, the Philadelphia-based Reinvestment Fund announced a $12.5 million Clean Energy Fund, with $10 million in backing from a subsidiary of MetLife, according to our sister site Technical.ly Philly.

With the Fund’s existing Baltimore presence, it counts local projects among those that could be eligible.

Reinvestment Fund will look to make loans of up to $3 million in small or midsize projects, primarily utilizing these two types of agreements:

  • Energy Savings Agreements, where a clean energy provider retrofits a property for a customer at their own expense, then manages the usage.
  • Power Purchase Agreements, where a developer builds a clean energy generation project, such as a solar array, then sells it to a user.

Through the loans, Reinvestment Fund can provide capital for the initial work to be done in such projects, said Andy Rachlin, the Fund’s managing director of lending and investment. The financing option has long been available to larger energy providers or government. Reinvestment Fund wants to allow nonprofits or smaller businesses to introduce new clean energy solutions, Rachlin said.

“They tend to be smaller companies that are really trying to figure out how to serve this smaller end of the market,” Rachlin said.

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An initial project to receive funding is in California, where Chicago-based Affordable Community Energy Services Company will install energy efficiency and water conservation projects at 90 affordable housing buildings.

The new fund is a continuation, rather than the beginning, of the Fund’s work in the area. Fund’s clean energy practice dates to 1993. In Baltimore it partners with the city on an energy efficiency loan program called the Baltimore Energy Intiative, according to Dana Johnson, Reinvestment Fund’s managing director for Maryland and D.C.

The Baltimore office, which opened in 2011, has also provided financing for affordable housing and other development projects. It manages the Central Baltimore Future Fund, a $10 million pool toward that end. Among the projects it’s participated in is the Centre Theatre in Station North, where Impact Hub Baltimore and Code in the Schools are based, as well as the redevelopment of the Parkway Theatre.

“In a lot of cases we are able to provide a kind of financing or a loan amount that sometimes the banks aren’t able to provide,” Johnson said. “We see ourselves as partners and just another resource that in partnership with banks, nonprofits and for-profit developers, is helping to move projects forward.”

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