November 23, 2020
Ohio’s first Green Bank model created to finance Clean Energy projects
In recent months we have witnessed the impact of climate change around the world on large portions of our global community in the form of extreme weather events and wildfires. Growth Opps is committed to supporting clean, sustainable projects in an effort to improve the quality of life for all persons with a particular sensitivity to under-represented persons, groups, and communities. Growth Opps, in collaboration with the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC), established a Green Bank model that can deploy mission-driven capital to support small-scale commercial, community and industrial solar project development in Ohio.
Growth Opps launched the GO Green Energy Fund with direct support from The George Gund Foundation. CGC completed a market opportunity analysis in 2019, funded by The George Gund Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation and Cuyahoga County of Ohio, to determine the potential for a Green Bank model to increase clean energy development in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Based upon this analysis, CGC found that there exists today a market in Cuyahoga County, to deploy a minimum of $15 million of mission-driven capital to support $30 million or more of projects in the county’s solar market over the next five years.
Currently, small and midscale solar projects in Cuyahoga County are unable to access financing through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Thin economic margins and cost of capital drive the price of solar power to above-market rates. By providing flexible capital, a Green Bank could enable small and mid-scale solar projects to offer competitive power prices to customers. This would allow customers to purchase solar generation at below-market rates without having to provide upfront capital to pay for the project.
GO Green Energy aims to create clean Meaningful Wage Jobs, double the regions installed solar capacity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and leverage $30 million in overall investment into clean energy projects.
“While solar installations are not entirely new, creating critical mass in Cleveland will be revolutionary. Growth Opps is actively pursuing the creation of models that will not only create energy savings, but will also transfer equity to residents who enroll, ultimately creating direct paths to wealth for those residents,” said Michael Jeans Growth Opps President and CEO.
“Creating a green bank holds big promise for Cuyahoga County in putting people back to work and combating climate change. CGC looks forward to continuing being a partner to make this a reality,” said Jeff Schub, executive director of the Coalition for Green Capital.
About Growth Opps
At Growth Opportunity Partners (“Growth Opps”), we offer community development capital, services and solutions to growing small businesses, primarily located in underserved, low and moderate income (LMI) communities in Ohio. GO Advisory accesses industry expertise and diverse talent to provide the solutions you need to address challenges your company faces. GO Capital is tailored to fund your business model when you need it. Growth Opps established the GO Green Energy Fund using a Green Bank model that can deploy mission-driven capital to support small-scale commercial, community and industrial solar project development in Ohio.
CGC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has been the leading creator, advocate, and expert on Green Banks since 2009. CGC has worked on the development of public institutions such as the Connecticut Green Bank and the New York Green Bank, as well as more recent, nonprofit Green Banks like the Colorado Clean Energy Fund and the Montgomery County Green Bank. CGC manages the American Green Bank Consortium and is currently leveraging its experience and the scale of Green Bank operations across the country to create a national network of Green Banks that can collaborate to more effectively drive capital into clean energy markets.