Section 35FF: Massachusetts Alternative and Clean Energy Investment Trust Fund
Section 35FF. (a) There is hereby established and placed within the Massachusetts clean energy technology center established in section 2 of chapter 23J, hereinafter referred to as the center, a fund to be known as the Massachusetts Alternative and Clean Energy Investment Trust Fund, hereinafter referred to as the fund, to be held by the center separate and apart from its other funds, to finance the activities of the center. The fund shall be credited 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, equity ownership in public or private companies 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 the same shall be defined by the center, secured or held by the fund and any other monies which may be available to the center for the purposes of the fund from any other source or sources. Any revenues, deposits, receipts or funds received through the receipt of royalties, dividends, equity ownership in public or private companies or the sale of equity instruments, inclusive, shall be deposited in the fund and shall be available expressly to the center without further appropriation.
(b) The center shall, in consultation with the advisory committee established in subsection (d) and the secretary of administration and finance, invest and reinvest the fund and the income thereof only as follows: (1) in the making of qualified investments approved by the board established in subsection (b) of section 2 of chapter 23J, pursuant to rules approved by said board; (2) in defraying the ordinary and necessary expenses of administration and operation associated with the center; provided, however, that said administrative and operational expenses shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total assets of the fund in any 1 fiscal year; (3) in the investment of any funds not required for immediate disbursement in the purchase of such securities as may be lawful investments for fiduciaries in the commonwealth; (4) for the payment of binding obligations associated with such qualified investments which are secured by the fund as the same become payable; and (5) for the payment of principal or interest on qualified investments secured by the fund or the payment of any redemption premium required to be paid when such qualified investments are redeemed prior to maturity.
(c) The fund shall be held and applied by the center, subject to the approval of the board, and in consultation with said advisory committee to make qualified investments designed to advance the following public purposes in the commonwealth: (1) to stimulate increased financing for the expansion of state-of-the-art clean energy research and development facilities by leveraging private financing and providing financing related thereto including, without limitation, financing for the construction or expansion of such facilities; (2) to provide grants to state educational institutions to develop a curriculum relative to clean energy and clean energy technology; (3) to make targeted investments in clean energy research and to promote manufacturing activities for new or existing advanced clean energy technologies; (4) to make matching grants to universities, colleges, public instrumentalities, companies and other entities to induce the federal government, industry and other grant-funding sources to fund the expansion of research and development in clean energy; (5) to provide bridge financing to universities, colleges, public instrumentalities, companies and other entities in anticipation of the receipt of grants of the type described in clause (4) awarded or to be awarded by the federal government, industry or other sources; (6) to promote programs and investments that lead to pathways towards economic self-sufficiency for low and moderate-income communities in the clean energy industry; provided, however, that said programs shall prioritize investments that serve individuals in families with incomes that do not exceed 300 per cent of the federal poverty level, as determined by the United States Census Bureau or a self-sufficiency standard, as determined by the executive office of administration and finance that shall include but not be limited to, the income needs of families, family size, the number and ages of children in the family and geographical considerations; (7) to make grants to the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, established by section 45 of chapter 75, to fund activities that facilitate the transfer of technology from the commonwealth's research institutions to the commonwealth's clean energy industries, for productive use by such industries, and to make targeted investments in proof of concept funding for emerging technologies; and (8) to make any other expenditure provided by this section.
The center shall not make a qualified investment under clause (1) of subsection (b) unless: (i) said qualified investment has been approved by a majority vote of the board; and (ii) the center finds that, to the extent possible, said qualified investment is such that a defined benefit to the economy of the commonwealth may reasonably be expected therefrom; provided, however, that in evaluating a request or application for funding, the center shall consider whether: (1) the proposed project fulfills the public purposes of the center; (2) the project has significant potential to expand clean energy related employment in the commonwealth; (3) the project has the potential to enhance technological advancements in clean energy; (4) the project has the potential to result in the development of advancements in environmental protection and reduce the cost of energy; (5) the project has the potential to leverage additional funding or to attract additional energy resources to the commonwealth; (6) the project has the potential to stimulate clean energy manufacturing in the commonwealth; (7) the project includes a plan to facilitate collaboration with state and local workforce development programs; or (8) the program leads to pathways towards economic self-sufficiency for low and moderate-income communities in the clean energy industry as established provided in clause (6).
The center shall not make a qualified investment under said clause (1) of said subsection (b) unless such qualified investment is in conformity with rules adopted by the center and approved by the board. Said rules shall set the terms and conditions for investments which constitute qualified investments, which may include, without limitation, loans, guarantees, loan insurance or reinsurance, equity investments, equity ownership in public or private companies, grants made pursuant to clause (4) of subsection (c) or other financing or credit enhancing devices, as made by the center directly or on its own behalf or in conjunction with other public instrumentalities, private institutions or the federal government.
Said rules shall also set forth the terms, procedures, standards and conditions which the center shall employ to identify qualified applications, process applications, make investment determinations, safeguard the fund, advance the objective of increasing employment opportunities in the commonwealth, oversee the progress of qualified investments and secure the participation of other public instrumentalities, private institutions or the federal government in such qualified investments; provided, however, that said rules shall provide for negotiated intellectual property agreements between the center and each recipient of a qualified investment which shall include the terms and conditions by which the fund's support thereof may be reduced or withdrawn; and provided further, that all revenues or financial interests of any kind received by the center as a result of said intellectual property agreements shall be placed, in their entirety, in the fund.
Copies of the approved rules, and any modifications thereto, shall be submitted annually to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, who shall forward the same to the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means, the chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, the chairs of the joint committee on telecommunication, utilities and energy and the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture.
(d) There shall be an advisory committee to be appointed by the governor consisting of 15 individuals with an interest and knowledge in matters related to the general purpose and activities of the fund and with expertise and experience in at least 1 of the following areas: clean energy technology research, clean energy technology development, clean energy investing, management of clean energy companies, making or advancing clean energy policy, clean energy curriculum development or workforce training in the field of clean energy or energy efficiency. The board shall consult with the advisory committee in matters related to the fund and in the implementation of this section.
(e) Qualified investment transactions undertaken by the center pursuant to this section shall not, except as specified in this section, be subject to chapter 175, and shall not constitute a debt or pledge of the faith and credit of the commonwealth, the center or any subdivision of the commonwealth and shall be payable solely from the Massachusetts Alternative and Clean Energy Investment Trust Fund.
All available moneys in the Massachusetts Alternative and Clean Energy Investment Trust Fund that are unexpended at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditure in the subsequent fiscal year.