Jigar Shah’ s Generate Capital Raises $200 Million to Back Clean Energy
- Alaska Permanent Fund led funding round for Generate
- Company has backed fuel cell, water-treatment projects
Generate Capital Inc., a clean-energy financing company, raised about $200 million in new equity to back battery-storage and other distributed-energy projects.
Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., a state-owned entity based in Juneau, led the round, San Francisco-based Generate said in a statement Tuesday.
Generate, which was formed in late 2014, invests in renewable-energy, energy-efficiency, waste, agriculture and water projects. It has supported on-site battery systems from Stem Inc., funded fuel-cell forklifts made by Plug Power Inc. and backed a water-treatment system used by Lagunitas Brewing Co. It recently collaborated with Sharp Electronics Corp. on microgrid projects in California with solar and storage.
“What we do say to these partners: we can be your partner forever — genuinely — because we don’t have to sell our projects or our positions,” Scott Jacobs, Generate’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “We can be permanent capital.”
Generate focuses on projects often ignored by other financing companies: small projects that cost as little as $500,000. It structures deals like long-term equity facilities that let sponsors use the funding for multiple projects.
“It’s inefficient to raise $500,000 for each project,” Jacobs said. He co-founded Generate with Jigar Shah, who earlier founded SunEdison Inc., and investor Matan Friedman.
Generate, which also offers debt, has leveraged its own equity to support more than $500 million in projects, Jacobs said.
“Oftentimes, policymakers will mandate climate solutions to implement, but then they don’t actually ensure that a project-finance partner is ready to support the roll-out,” Shah said. “We naturally fill that role.”