New Jersey Green Bank established to invest in state’s clean energy sector

Published on April 18, 2024 by Chris Galford

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A new entity entered the New Jersey clean energy scene this month, with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) board’s creation of the New Jersey Green Bank (NJGB) dedicated to aiding the state’s clean energy transition.

Going forward, the NJGB will utilize debt, credit enhancements and other financial modes to invest and attract private capital for New Jersey’s clean energy sector. It will invest in projects, technologies and companies supportive of the state’s climate goals, specifically calling attention to areas such as zero-emission transportation, building decarbonization and resiliency, and clean energy generation and storage.

“From more violent storms to increased flooding, the effects of climate change have become all too familiar here in New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “My administration has established aggressive goals to combat climate change and the creation of the New Jersey Green Bank will help us meet those goals by making major investments in the clean energy sector. This approval is a significant step in our fight against climate change, which will help us reach a clean energy future that will protect our environment and bolster our economy for generations to come.”

Murphy’s administration has set clean energy targets for the state, including: 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, 11 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2040 and 50 percent economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030. NJGB will back these efforts by focusing exclusively on climate investments, with projects such as solar power, onshore and offshore wind, all electric heat pumps, battery storage and more.

This comes with several important stipulations though. Each investment must demonstrate benefits for New Jersey, be new rather than refinanced, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants.

“Establishing the New Jersey Green Bank is a pivotal step in the State’s continued push to meet the ongoing challenges of climate change,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “The NJGB will inject capital into New Jersey’s clean energy economy and support green businesses and good-paying jobs in the field. Additionally, the investments made by the NJGB will pave the way for a cleaner and healthier environment for our residents and future generations.”

Notably, the NJGB will gain permanent grant capital in its initial capitalization, as a sub-awardee of the Coalition for Green Capital’s (CGC) application to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Investment Fund competition. CGC won an award of $5 billion through that competition.