Renewable energy veterans launch new resource efficiency finance company

Some of the most respected names in the solar and renewable energy industries have today announced the launch of Generate Capital – a dedicated resource efficiency finance company that has been co-founded by this illustrious group of industry veterans.

Jigar Shah, founding CEO of SunEdison and the Carbon War Room, has co-founded Generate Capital alongside McKinsey & Company’s global CleanTech practice co-founder Scott Jacobs, and co-founder and managing partner of Resource Efficiency Finance Matan Friedman. Finance veteran Jason Fish, who co-founded both Capital Source and Alliance Partners, will act as Generate Capital’s chairman.

The finance company is intended to pioneer an infrastructure-as-a-service model in the U.S. that will finance a multitude of financial services products, including short-term asset-based financing, equipment leasing and small-scale project finance – all within the market of resource-efficient infrastructure.

Generate Capital will back suitable projects between $2 million and $20 million in size, with a particular focus on commercial-scale renewable energy generation, heating equipment retrofits, energy storage projects and urban farms.

The company co-founders believe that they have secured one of the largest pools of capital available, having identified more than $500 million of opportunities that meet its underwriting criteria. Inaugural projects are expected to be announced in Q1 2015.

"Sustainability is about doing more with less, whether energy, water, food or any other critical resource," said Jacobs. "Resource productivity is a matter of building the infrastructure and deploying existing solutions, not inventing new technology.

"General Capital was launched to partner with the large and growing developer community supporting this Resource Revolution."

Shah believes that the accumulated experience of the company’s co-founders (who combined have financed more than $1 billion in clean-tech projects over the past 10 years) gives it a distinct advantage when identifying how best to advance this market.

"Many innovative companies have technologies that deliver compelling value to their customers, but they lack a financial partner to help them achieve their sales goals – few sources of that capital exist today for energy and resource-related project opportunities under $20 million in size," Shah said.

In recognizing that most customers are often reluctant to pay cash upfront for technology that has slow-burning savings, Generate Capital’s founders believe that their Infrastructure-as-a-service model can address this reticence and apply well-proven financial products to smaller-scale projects that are ordinarily underfunded.