CleanFund Provides Largest Ever Commercial PACE Financing to Pacific Ethanol for 5 Megawatt Solar Energy System
Pacific Ethanol, Inc., a leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the United States, is purchasing and installing a new 5 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power system at its Madera, California biorefinery that produces ethanol, wet distiller grains and corn oil. $10-million of the project cost is being financed by CleanFund, the leading provider of long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and seismic improvements specifically for commercial, industrial, multifamily and other non-residential properties across the U.S.
CleanFund (www.CleanFund.com) provides capital for projects using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), a financing framework adopted in 33 states and the District of Columbia that allows property owners to repay investments for building upgrades and new construction on their property tax bills. The Pacific Ethanol financing is the largest commercial PACE transaction in the U.S. to date. The improvement also represents the largest solar PV system (based on power generating capacity) to be funded through a PACE program.
“The integration of solar power at our Madera plant underscores our commitment to optimize our plant assets, lower the carbon intensity of our ethanol and reduce our operating costs,” says Neil Koehler, president and CEO of Pacific Ethanol. “We are proud to build the first ever commercial solar electricity system at a U.S. ethanol plant. Pending the completion of interconnection agreements with our local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., we expect to begin operating the solar PV system at full capacity in early 2018.”
Greg Saunders, CEO of CleanFund, adds, “We are honored that Pacific Ethanol selected CleanFund as its capital provider, and is utilizing our SolarPACE™ financing to install a state-of-the-art solar system on their amazing biorefinery. The demand for commercial PACE financing continues to grow rapidly because it provides cost-effective, long-term financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency and water conservation measures for most non-residential properties. We are excited to partner with Pacific Ethanol as it leads the way in the deployment of renewable energy power systems at its industrial facilities.”