Published on October 21st, 2015 | by Glenn Meyers
$300 Million Fund From ReNewAll Targets Clean Energy Projects
ReNewAll, a California financing solutions company, is now tackling head-on the call for clean energy projects, with $300 million in financing opportunities.
The company recently announced that its $300 Million Clean Energy Fund will finance energy solutions projects, including a custom program for National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) members.
The financing initiative has been some five years in development. “Initially we were engaged by the contractors to help rebrand how their individual businesses were perceived: as something more than just electricians, and as energy solutions providers,” said president and co-founder Joe Berney in an interview with CleanTechnica. “That has evolved over the last couple of years where ReNewAll has been developing clean energy projects.”
The Clean Energy Fund is being made available through ReNewAll and its exclusive finance partner, San Diego-based TRITEC Americas. The fund has been established using private investors targeting solar energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage projects that will improve commercial buildings, shopping centers, office buildings, and industrial facilities.
The interest in solar is fitting for TRITEC Americas. It is the North American affiliate of the TRITEC Group, a global solar services company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, which has shown considerable interest in solar issues over the last 25 years.
Notable ReNewAll US projects, which have been developed for its NECA members, include Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, a $7 million showcase energy efficiency project, which is the largest, most comprehensive Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) project in the US. This hotel energy efficiency retrofit updated light bulbs, pumps, chillers, and the HVAC system, and is expected to save the hotel $800,000 in annual energy and maintenance expenses.
ReNewAll projects eligible for funding include rooftop treatments, ground mount and solar carports, LED lighting, building controls, EV chargers, energy storage, electrical system improvements, motors and pumps, HVAC/R, roofs, water conservation and seismic retrofits.
The fund has been established to feature new energy platforms that allow contractors to deliver solutions to property owners for little to no money out-of-pocket. According to ReNewAll CEO Michael Bahr, since last July, ReNewAll and TRITEC Americas have originated more than $40 million in project term sheets for NECA contractors in southern California.
“We provide multiple finance options for building owners, with competitive rates,” said Bahr. “For contractors, we can provide a full project turn-key quote and assist to close the deal, allowing them to build more successful solutions for more clients.”
NECA response so far has been positive. “As project developers for the Los Angeles County chapter of NECA and IBEW-11 LMCC, ReNewAll creates solutions that benefit NECA contractors,” said Jim Willson, NECA Los Angeles chapter manager, in a press announcement.
Berney sees ReNewAll as a viable alternative to standard bank financing deals because other traditional underwriting criteria just don’t fit the economy and markets that are presently opening up. He sees banks as very risk-adverse and their criteria usually relates to credit. By contrast, ReNewAll clean energy projects are more valued by the mount of energy used or saved.
Berney eschews being compared to a bank. “At this point in time we have investors that have built this fund,” he said. “So it’s really their fund allowing us to develop underwriting criteria, to develop term sheets, actually developing new financial products that are targeted to where this market is.
As he puts it, this fund is the beginning of more such funds that target clean energy projects where conservation, energy generation, energy storage, and even microgrids are the primary project drivers. “What we’re able to do with this fund is very much aligned with what I think needs to be done everywhere.”
Images via ReNewAll and Hilton Hotel in Universal City