Investment Strategy Supports California Policy Agenda, Focuses on State’s Leading Clean Energy Industry
July 25, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a $30 million public benefit investment fund created to spur investment and innovation in California’s clean energy economy, today announced a summary of its Fund 1 Portfolio. The portfolio, which is just one year in to a multiyear investment strategy, invests in companies that will help California reach its objective of becoming the world’s premier clean energy economy, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to the state.
“With world-renown research universities and a supportive policy-making climate, California has proven to be a leader in developing clean energy innovations,” said Michael R. Peevey, chairman of CalCEF and president of the California Public Utilities Commission. “CalCEF’s investment strategy to help commercialize these innovations fills an important need in realizing California’s goal of becoming the world’s premier clean energy economy.”
The CalCEF Fund l portfolio is co-managed by three investment managers who, together, bring over 5 billion in market power: Nth Power, DFJ Element, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. CalCEF is working with these three managers to create an investment portfolio that not only provides attractive investment returns and positive environmental benefits, but also supports California’s Energy Action Plan, the State’s blueprint for clean electricity, and its aggressive goals for clean transportation technology.
The California Energy Action Plan establishes a ‘loading order’ to guide the state in meeting future energy needs. The order is as follows:
- Energy efficiency
- Renewable energy
- Clean fossil fired DG
- Clean large-scale generation
California’s clean transportation agenda includes the following components:
- A revitalized Zero Emissions Vehicle program, including advanced electric-drive technologies
- An aggressive new biofuels initiative, advanced by executive order from Governor Schwarzenegger
- Encouraging advancements in fuel cell technologies, via the Hydrogen Highway initiative
“By partnering with three established investment managers to invest in companies that support California’s public policy goals, CalCEF is ushering in a new era in venture investment intelligence,” said Lisa Bicker, President of CalCEF. “Ultimately, the success of the state’s economic and environmental policies depends on intersecting public and private interests, an intersection CalCEF is uniquely positioned to facilitate.”
“CalCEF’s emerging portfolio of investments tests the proposition that this partnership between technology, finance and policy is the most sustainable way forward for clean energy investing,” added Dan Adler, CalCEF Director of Technology and Policy Development.
Through its three investment managers, CalCEF has made investments in the following companies:
- SpectraSensors, Inc. – Manufactures sensors that track and control harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide
- Miartech – Designs advanced communications components for remote energy management and efficiency, including “smart” utility meters
- Synapsense – Provides software applications for wireless sensor networks that enable optimal efficient energy usage in homes and businesses
- Superprotonic – Develops innovative technologies that are poised to improve the real-world performance of hydrogen fuel cells
- Fat Spaniel – Provides assessment and control systems software to improve the performance of distributed generation, such as solar photovoltaics
- Solarcentury – Provides building-integrated solar photovoltaic solutions, enabling easier installation and improving aesthetics
- Advanced Battery Company (Official Name Not Released) – Develops high-power lithium ion batteries
- CoalTek - Converts low rank, mine-run coals into high-rank, clean coal alternative fuels, increasing efficiency in burning and potentially contributing to carbon sequestration
- Imperium Renewables - Provides next-generation biodiesel refining and manufacturing technology
- Tesla Motor - Designs and sells electric cars combining world-class automotive design and Silicon Valley technology with an innovative sales and support strategy
The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation formed to make equity investments in clean energy companies. Established via the PG&E bankruptcy settlement with $30 million from PG&E shareholders, the Fund expects to deliver market based financial returns to its investors and positive environmental and economic returns to California, with a focus on PG&E’s service territory. CalCEF targets companies focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage, and other products and services that are designed to enhance the clean energy sector. Financial returns will be reinvested in the Fund, enabling CalCEF to become a growing ‘evergreen fund’.
The CalCEF Board of Directors blends public policy makers, investment professionals, entrepreneurs, and science and technology experts. Chaired by Michael R. Peevey, President of the California PUC, the Board also includes California Energy Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld; President of the Board of Governors Mason Willrich; Mark Levine of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; entrepreneurs John Woolard and Tom Jacoby; Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC); JPMorgan managing director Nancy Pfund; and former White House policy official Jonathan Foster.