California’s Clean Energy Fund Teams with Venture Capital Firms to Provide Economic Benefits

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff March 16, 2005

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a new $30 million public benefit investment fund created as part of Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy settlement, recently announced agreements with three leading venture capital firms: Nth Power, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

The purpose of the non-profit Fund is not only to make attractive investments, but also to provide an engine of economic growth while reducing California’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“With this new Fund, we have the opportunity to shape the future of clean energy investments by demonstrating wins for both investors and our environment,” says Michael R. Peevey, chairman of CalCEF and president of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

CalCEF’s cross-disciplined board of directors enables a focus on this promising investment sector in ways that a traditional fund cannot. “This Board, which blends public policy makers, investment professionals, entrepreneurs, and science and technology experts, is uniquely able to meet this investment challenge,” explains Lisa Bicker, president of CalCEF. “The time is right for clean energy investing and CalCEF can be the change agent that leads the way.”

CalCEF’s investment strategy will focus exclusively on clean energy, including renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and enabling technologies and services. Under the terms of the agreements, the venture capital firms will make equity investments in clean energy companies on behalf of CalCEF. By working with three highly qualified investment firms, each with its own investment expertise, CalCEF can take a blended approach to the market that mitigates risk and maximizes returns. The goal is to support a wide range of opportunities, including both later stage and early stage opportunities, where CalCEF funding will make a difference.

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