News

Leyline Renewable Capital and Green Banks – How Do They Differ?


Have you ever heard of a green bank? Green banks are public, quasi-public, or nonprofit entities that facilitate private investment into low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure. These entities may be established and funded via a variety of different sources, such as government directives, surcharges, grants, startup funding, and more. There are currently seven green banks in the United States:

These banks drove a total of $1.69 billion in funding in 2020, generating nearly $7 billion in clean energy investment. Their projects often include smaller opportunities that private banks may overlook, such as traditional loans, solar loans, and lease programs in underserved areas. Green banks enact initiatives solely within their respective states/counties and aim to achieve goals like meeting emissions targets, mobilizing private capital, lowering capital and energy costs, promoting green tech markets, and creating jobs within their communities.

At Leyline, our ideals align closely with those of green banks: We strive to reach clean energy goals and fund clean tech projects. Our investments catalyze big renewable energy developments, driving millions into multi-billion-dollar initiatives that accelerate a green transition. We leverage capital to creatively help developers solve problems, overcome challenges, and ultimately, protect our planet.

So how does Leyline differ from a green bank? Is there a competitive advantage to our approach? We think so. To begin, our firm offers geographical flexibility. While green banks are generally limited to funding within their own jurisdiction, Leyline invests in projects across the United States and in Canada. And, as stewards of our own capital, our loan turnaround is more rapid than an entity leveraging primarily public funding. This investment speed helps eliminate costly developmental delays.

Some developers prefer or require discretion for their projects, and Leyline offers lending privacy. Green banks, on the other hand, must publish reports to inform investors and customers about where their money is spent. Our team works with developers to craft unique loans that evolve to meet shifting needs throughout a project timeline. Further, we often develop long-term partnerships with companies that extend far beyond the work of a single deal. Our involvement in such relationships allows us to offer clients great connections and networking within the clean energy industry. Our own roots as developers lend a broad skills base—we provide experiential knowledge and value assessments that may surpass a green bank’s expertise.

Perhaps Leyline’s greatest advantage over green banks is our ability to take greater risks and invest at early stages of development. Green banks are typically custodians of public funds, meaning they have more to lose should a project fail. Some may take a bit of development risk, but the bulk of their lending is usually in later phases of a project. Leyline lends in areas and within timelines where green banks may not be comfortable. This enables rapid project initiation and works to achieve our goal: keeping the Earth clean and safe for centuries to come.