Carbon War Room boosts building upgrades

A new consortium that could put billions of dollars of clean-energy and energy-efficiency investment into commercial developments in the United States is getting off the ground. 

The Carbon War Room, a nonprofit founded by Richard Branson that aims to facilitate the flow of capital investments for clean energy, has announced the PACE Commerical Consortium.

Reported on the Carbon War Room’s website, the consortium will be lead by the Ygrene Energy Fund with help from engineering firm Lockheed Martin, financial advisors Barclays Capital and insurance companies Hannover Re and Energi.

The consortium’s first project is making available $550 million in funding for cities in Miami-Dade County, Fla., that join the Green Corridor PACE district for investment in commercial and industrial real estate. 

The funding will be spent on energy-saving retrofits to commercial buildings.

Consortium members say the project has the potential of generating up to $1.8 billion in the county while creating jobs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The consortium is also eyeing Sacramento, Calif., where it see a potential $100 million opportunity that could stimulate an additional $530 million in economic activity. 

The Consortium believes such programs can stimulate $2.3 billion and create more than 17,000 jobs in the combined cities.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation allows property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Twenty-six states in the United States, along with Australia, and New Zealand, have enacted legislation enabling the secure and scalable financing PACE structure.

Kristy Hessman, EarthTechling