New York Governor Cuomo appoints ex-Goldman exec for planned $1bn green bank

Senior figure brought in to assist with cleantech push

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has tapped Richard Kauffman, a former Goldman Sachs partner and advisor to the US Energy Department, to set up the state’s planned new $1bn green bank.

Kauffman will lead the state’s energy policy and energy finance efforts as the Chair of a newly formed Energy Policy and Finance Sub-Cabinet.
The Governor said Kauffman’s top priority would be setting up the state’s first “green bank” within the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The bank will offer loans and grants to further clean energy deployment, coordinate and leverage the State’s clean energy spending and “alleviate financial market barriers that currently impede the flow of private capital to clean energy projects”.
“Today I laid out an ambitious agenda of investments in energy infrastructure, solar power, and an electric vehicle network,” Cuomo said. “Richard Kauffman’s extensive private and public sector experience in energy and finance matters will improve coordination of the state’s energy policy and further the establishment of New York as the national leader in the clean energy economy.”

Prior to advising US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Kauffman was chief executive of private equity firm Good Energies (now Bregal Capital). Before that he was a partner of Goldman Sachs where he chaired the Global Financing Group.He is a former vice chairman of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Business and co-head of its Banking Department.
“The economy of tomorrow is the clean tech economy,” Cuomo said. “We want to create the New York green bank, which is a $1bn bank to leverage public dollars with private sector matched money to spur the clean economy.”

Meanwhile, Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC has announced an investment of around $500m by Canadian pension giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in a c.1,500MW portfolio of operating wind farms in the US and Canada.

The deal means the Caisse will have a material financial interest in 11 wind projects in the US and two in Canada.
“In addition to generating stable and predictable long-term returns, the projects will enable us to broaden our presence in a forward-looking sector – renewable energy – in Québec, Canada and the US,” said Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President, Infrastructure, at the Caisse.

And elsewhere, US funds firm Mercy Investment Services has filed a shareholder resolution with Oklahoma-based natural gas firm Continental Resources calling for it to adopt “quantitative, company-wide” goals for reducing or eliminating gas flaring.