Eli Hopson, executive director and chief operating officer for the Coalition for Green Capital, delivered the following comments during a listening session hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. My name is Eli Hopson, and I’m the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Coalition for Green Capital.
Last week you described a vision of a network of nonprofit lenders. We fully support that vision, and in practice we suggest that to be most effective, EPA should design both solicitations under the GGRF so that they support each other.
In the aggregate all the nonprofit governmental and nongovernmental clean power lenders EPA supports through the GGRF must be required to drive rapid adoption of clean energy products in low income and disadvantaged communities. This is a huge business problem that cannot be solved by capital alone. It requires a national coordinator or g b to intervene in supply chains, to assure labor force capacity, to adopt consumer friendly software, to require transparency, to conduct outreach to communities without an existing green lender, and to set standards for loans that can be established nationally and then applied locally to allow large-scale capital recycling and unleash additional private capital to flow to these communities.
The Coalition for Green Capital doing business as the American Green Bank Consortium has been for over a decade creating and supporting local green lending institutions with a goal of creating and supporting green lending institutions that serve every state and the District of Columbia, and every territory and tribal government in the United States. Through that network of new and operating local lenders, we see an important avenue for collaboration with the government entities in every state who we hope apply.
As examples, we are currently working with entities in New Mexico, Minnesota, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas, among others, to create a new local green lending institution and/or expand the capacity of an existing green lender.
We already have in our consortium over twenty state and local government entities, and we expect all will individually apply for the seven. These entities will also likely be funded by our application under the other GGRF solicitation.
The statute requires eligible recipients who receive funds under the $20B to provide “funding and technical support” for the recipients of the $7B – all of them – and we intend to include that support in our application. We will as required under the statute recycle funds, and we will also provide support for capital recycling to all of the awardees under the 7 Billion.
We will work with the national supply chain to produce efficient distribution of products like solar panels, and associated battery storage and other technologies, and hope that all of the awardees under the 7 participate in that work. These are only some examples of the integration between the 7 and the 20 that we think the statute intends, some of which it explicitly requires – and that we intend to present to you in our application.
Finally, we respectfully urge you accelerate issuance of both NOFOs under the GGRF, and that you ask applicants for each solicitation to explain how they will interact with the other in order to achieve maximum impact from these public dollars.