There shall be established and placed within the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center a fund to be known as the Massachusetts Green Banks Fund, hereinafter in this section referred to as the fund, to be held by the center separate and apart from its other funds, to finance the activities of emerging clean energy companies and energy efficiency projects. The purpose of the fund is to create permanent, reliable, low cost financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in order to reduce “financing gaps,” or gaps that occur when creditworthy projects are unable to reach their intended scale due to a lack of funding. The fund shall provide loans, loan guarantees and other forms of financing for clean energy projects, with the goals of abating climate change, boosting energy efficiency and encouraging the growth of clean energy businesses in the Commonwealth.
The fund shall be credited by any appropriations, bond proceeds or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited thereto, such additional funds as are subject to the direction and control of the center, any pension funds, federal grants or loans, royalties or private investment capital which may properly be applied in furtherance of the objectives of the fund, any proceeds from the sale of qualified investments secured or held by the fund, any fees and charges imposed relative to the making of qualified investments as defined by the center, secured or held by the fund and any other monies which may be available to the center for the purpose of the fund from any other source or sources. Any revenues, deposits, receipts, or funds received through the receipt of royalties, interest, dividends, or the sale of equity instruments shall be deposited in the fund, and shall be available to the center for the purposes described in this section, without further appropriation. All available moneys in the fund that are unexpended at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditures in the subsequent fiscal year.
For the purposes of the Green Banks fund, the center shall act as the central entity and coordinating organization of clean energy initiatives that advance the goal of energy independence initiatives on behalf of the commonwealth and to (1) work in collaboration with governmental entities, bodies, centers, institutes and facilities and promote all areas of clean energy and to advance the commonwealth’s interests and investments; (2) strengthen economic development , employment opportunities and commercial and industrial sectors in the field of clean energy and energy efficiencies; (3) to provide bridge financing to colleges, universities, independent research institutions, nonprofit entities, public instrumentalities, companies and other entities for the receipt of grants or loans as awarded or to be awarded by the federal government, industry or other sources; (4) to provide fellowships, co-ops, internships, loans and grants; (5) to provide workforce training grants to prepare individuals for clean energy careers; (6) to provide funding for development, coordination and marketing of higher education programs; (7) to make qualified grants to certified clean energy companies or entities for site remediation, preparation and ancillary infrastructure improvement projects; and (8) to otherwise further the public purposes set forth herein.
The chief financial and accounting officer of the center shall be in charge of its funds, books of account and accounting records. No funds shall be transferred by the center without the approvable of the board and the signatures of the chief financial and accounting officer and the treasurer, as appointed by the board.
Upon the creation of this fund, the center shall establish a committee of the center to report within 180 days to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy any suggested legislation to further enhance the establishment of a Green Bank for the Commonwealth to further the goals of this section.
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