Public/Private Partnerships

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

A Public-Private Partnership is a contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public.  In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.

Gemstone has been assisting its public clients with several initiatives.  Gemstone began its renewable energy focus by representing several non-profit (quasi state agencies) sustainable energy funds which were set up during utility deregulation settlements.  Gemstone assisted these agencies in investment structuring, asset management and deal flow development.  Given its close ties and understanding of these mission oriented public funds, Gemstone has successfully worked with these funds and others to create specialized financing partnerships.

Recent notable examples include:

$50 million Keystone Home Energy Loan Program (Keystone HELP)

Gemstone was asked to architect and implement a residential energy efficiency loan program for a regional fund in Western Pennsylvania.  The key was to devise a better than market loan product for certain energy star home improvements.  After researching nationally other programs, Gemstone crafted a plan to combine its clients source of funds with the operation of a specialty energy consumer energy loan processing located in Pennsylvania.  After a short pilot, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department agreed to expand the program statewide by investing additional $20 million of capital.  The program has been in operation several years, growing to over $50 million on loan capacity, and has underwritten over 6,000 loans.

$45 million CT Solar Leasing Program (CT Solar)

Gemstone was initially involved in responding to an RFP put out by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) for a residential solar loan program.  CCEF realized that it was giving its residential solar rebate fund to a concentrated area of the state given residents’ ability to fund the remaining cost of capital.  CCEF wanted to help other CT residents in other areas fund solar.   Given Gemstone’s understanding of the solar financing market and complex tax structures, Gemstone assisted CCEF in creating CT Solar, the first stand alone solar leasing program in the United States.  Gemstone structured and raised $18 million of private equity capital, combined with CCEF’s capital to fund the operation.  On behalf of CCEF and other investors, Gemstone takes an active asset management role as well.

Gemstone’s knowledge of private sector finance combined with experience in mission oriented public entities allows Gemstone to be uniquely qualified to implement public-private partnerships to achieve renewable energy project related goals.

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