Florida Opportunity Fund Seeks Applications for Clean Energy Investment Program

kristy Green Prosperity, Community Development Solutions

The Clean Energy Investment Program, launched by the Florida Opportunity Fund with an initial $36 million in funding, is now accepting applications for investment opportunities that advance the adoption of renewable energy and energy-efficiency technology across the State.

The Clean Energy Investment Program will provide qualifying Florida businesses with investments in three primary areas of focus:
• Facility and equipment improvement with energy-efficient and renewable energy (EE/RE) products. Examples of potential opportunities would include a manufacturing or assembly business upgrading or expanding operations with energy-efficient equipment, a data center converting to energyefficient servers or cooling units, or a business seeking to retrofit or upgrade its facilities with energy efficient or renewable energy products and materials.

• Acquisition or demonstration of renewable energy products. For example, the program would evaluate a business looking to acquire or upgrade a solar or other renewable energy generation system or a technology provider seeking to demonstrate its commercially available renewable energy or energyefficient products for the first time in Florida.

• Process improvement of existing production, manufacturing, assembly or distribution of operations to increase energy efficiency or reduce consumption. This could include a warehousing, distribution or storage business implementing activities to conserve energy or streamline operations, an industrial materials company upgrading its water usage and treatment processes to conserve energy and improve the efficiency of existing operations, or an agricultural inputs provider improving excavation or handling processes to increase the energy efficiency of its operations.

“The program is a first of its kind for Florida. Beyond the goal of transforming the State’s energy profile, this is also designed to be a catalyst for jobs,’’ said Jennifer Dunham of Florida First Partners, manager of the Florida Opportunity Fund. “We expect to see job growth from businesses that integrate or produce energy efficient or renewable energy products and technologies. We also anticipate that companies will be able to expand their operations and become more competitive as a direct result of the achieved cost savings and other efficiencies.”

In evaluating opportunities that apply for the first series of clean energy investments, the Florida Opportunity Fund will consider businesses that have existing operations in Florida, companies with a significant presence in the State or businesses that are establishing Florida operations using EE/RE products, techniques and technology. Applicants that show significant reduction in energy consumption or are seeking to implement or demonstrate commercially available energy-efficient or renewable energy products and technologies represent the targeted audience of this program.

The clean energy program is managed by the Florida Opportunity Fund, one of the primary State-sponsored efforts designed to generate economic growth and long-term funding for an array of strategic programs. The Clean Energy Investment Program received funding this Spring from the Florida Energy and Climate Commission.

“This is a timely program for Florida businesses to access capital for reducing energy consumption, and to stimulate the adoption of clean energy solutions,” said Jim Murley, Chairman of the Commission. The State also hopes to see private investment increase to provide a capital infusion to this emerging industry in Florida.

Applications for the program are now being accepted. Interested participants should visit the program’s Web site at www.floridaopportunityfund.com to access the application and additional program details.

The Florida Opportunity Fund was established by Enterprise Florida and is managed by Florida First Partners (FFP), a joint
venture between MILCOM Venture Partners (MVP) and the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG). MVP, a leading Florida fund manager and venture capital firm, has invested in companies in the power, energy, communications, software and materials science sectors. CFIG is the leading primary private equity fund-of-funds investment group of global banking giant Credit Suisse. CFIG also manages in-state private equity investment programs in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, New York and Oregon.

The Florida Opportunity Fund’s Clean Energy Investment Program areas of investment will include, facility and equipment improvement with energy efficient products and materials; acquisition or demonstration of renewable energy products for use in
operations; and process improvement of existing production, manufacturing, assembly or distribution of operations to reduce
consumption or increase the efficient use of energy in processes.

For more information, visit the program’s Web site – www.floridaopportunityfund.com.