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New Energy Capital: Credit Funds I & II

Seizing abundant opportunities to build clean energy infrastructure across the United States, NEC is financing a cleaner, more resilient electricity grid.

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Investment

Fund I: $7.5 million; originated in 2016

Fund II: $15 million; originated in 2019

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Rationale

Tangible assets that generate stable cash flows back NEC’s lending. The company’s success maps directly onto McKnight’s Midwest Climate & Energy program’s goals of building a clean, resilient, and economically healthy power sector that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

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Returns

Fund I Financial Returns: Early returns are favorable. NEC is deploying capital to renewable energy developers quickly at favorable terms and has been able to recycle some of our capital.

Fund I Social & Environmental Impact: This fund is achieving strong environmental impacts by supporting the development of at least 1,500 megawatts of clean energy projects through nine investments with seven companies.

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Lessons Learned

Fund I: We expected more competition in this space when the fund emerged, but it remained and underserved area of the economy. In addition, we learned that our concerns that the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese solar panels would affect industry dramatically was incorrect. NEC and other market actors adapted to the changes and found additional lending opportunities for companies to preorder and stock additional panels.

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The McKnight Foundation does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or service providers.

Last updated 10/2021

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