Carbon War Room to unlock multi-billion dollar fund
first $650 million retrofit package for commercial property in
Miami-Dade County, Florida and Sacramento, California
The Carbon War
Room, an independent non-profit, founded by Sir Richard Branson,
that harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock gigaton
solutions to climate change, has announced the launch of a new
consortium that will unlock billions of dollars of investment in
renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for US
commercial real estate.
The PACE Commercial Consortium (PCC) integrates the program
management and engineering best practices of Lockheed Martin, the
financial sophistication of Barclays Capital and the pioneering
insurance partnership of Energi and HannoverRe in an end-to-end
solution administered by the team’s leader, Ygrene Energy Fund.
The announcement highlights an immediate potential market
opportunity of $550 million in funding for the cities in Miami-Dade
County, Florida that join the Green Corridor PACE district for
investment in commercial and industrial real estate.
This funding can generate up to $1.8 billion in economic
activity in Miami-Dade County, experts say. The Consortium sees the
additional potential for an initial $100 million market in the city
of Sacramento, CA, which will stimulate an additional $530 million
in economic activity. The Consortium is confident these cities’
programs could stimulate $2.3 billion and more than 17,000 jobs in
the combined cities.
“The PACE Commercial Consortium is the missing piece in the
jigsaw puzzle for cities looking to implement green plans,” said
Carbon War Room founder Sir Richard Branson.
“The Carbon War Room has been working with its partners to solve
this puzzle for over 18 months as part of our Green Capital Global
Challenge operation. I’m thrilled by the news of this
ground-breaking mechanism, and believe it will unlock a trillion
dollar market for green retrofits, creating jobs and growth around
the world. There is simply no other source of economic growth with
Launched in 2010 at the Winter Olympics
in Vancouver, the Green Capital Global Challenge (GCGC) aims to
mobilize billions of dollars of currently idle private capital into
city-led energy efficiency initiatives.
Green Capital Global Challenge Director, Murat Armbruster,
conceived of the PACE Commercial Consortium and introduced the
member companies to one another during the Carbon War Room’s
Creating Climate Wealth North America Summit in May this year.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation enables
property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of
repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable
“These investments are 100% private capital. There is no
government debt or cost involved. The markets can supply this
financing because the economics are sound, engineering performance
is insured, the security is strong, and clean energy capital
assets are profitable,” said Brian McCarthy, CEO of
Twenty-six states in the United
States, along with Australia, and New Zealand, have enacted
legislation enabling the secure and scalable financing PACE
The Green Corridor group of cities, initiated by the Town of
Cutler Bay in Miami-Dade, Florida, and Sacramento, CA are the first
municipalities to sign contracts with the Consortium’s
California-based PACE finance administrator, Ygrene Energy.
“The PACE Commercial and Industrial Program brings the Green
Corridor a privately financed jobs program that will bend the
emissions curve in Miami-Dade County and make the Green Corridor an
example to the rest of country of what is possible, especially at a
time when our construction trades so desperately need the work,”
said Steve Alexander, leader of Miami-Dade’s Green Corridor
The U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, a U.S.
industry partner, has organized its building owner members to
retrofit their properties and operations, as PACE financing becomes
available: “Corporate America can lead this huge jobs program with
private capital, because clean energy is also profitable energy,
once this financing structure is in place,” said Andy Mangan,
Director of the US BCSD.
Lockheed Martin, the Consortium’s engineering partner, will
employ its program management and energy services capabilities to
guarantee the technologies deployed on select PACE-financed
projects. In partnering with this consortium, Lockheed Martin is
delivering a solution set to commercial and industrial customers
that it has long delivered to utilities and the Federal
“At Lockheed Martin, we believe that we have the ability and
responsibility to address our Nation’s energy and climate
challenges,” said Frank Armijo, Vice President for Energy
Solutions, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global
Solutions - Civil.
“By implementing these clean energy projects, we will reduce the
energy consumption, carbon emissions and operating costs of the
existing building stock, thereby increasing commercial property
values for our customers.”
Energi will provide Energy Savings Warranties (ESWs) to insure
these savings guarantees, reducing the risk and lowering the cost
often associated with such projects.
The Carbon War Room is now bringing this first mechanism, one of
a series of corporate consortia, to the thirty cities currently
participating in the Green Capital Global Challenge as a means of
implementing green city plans that for the most part had been put
on hold since the economic crash in October 2008. One of these
member cities is Los Angeles:
“The County of Los Angeles has invested tremendous time and
effort into creating a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
District which forms the basis for this huge job creation potential
in southern California. We are now on the verge of that effort
paying off,” said Howard Choy, General Manager, Office of
Sustainability at Los Angeles County.
By redirecting this existing cash flow
into clean energy capital assets, the Consortium hopes to create a
responsible debt instrument built upon sound
“It is a myth that switching off of fossil energy onto clean
energy is costly. Quite the contrary, building clean energy capital
assets is both profitable and a huge boost to economic growth,”
Clean energy has no fuel cost; it is harvested by the use of
capital assets. Properly structured investment in harvesting clean
energy is the key to solving the current economic problem,” said
Dennis Hunter, Chairman and CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund.
Further “deal days” are planned with selected groups of
technology and finance providers for Copenhagen - Denmark, Vilnius
- Lithuania, and Singapore in coming months.