Banyan Infrastructure’s cloud-based platform: A sustainable, scalable solution to GGRF fund management

Solar panels

Authorized by last year’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) marks a historic $27 billion commitment to combat climate change by revitalizing American communities most impacted by fossil fuel pollution. This groundbreaking program is designed to accelerate the deployment of clean energy projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, which will drive economic revitalization, lower energy costs, and improve resident health and well-being.

Many of the GGRF recipients are Green Banks, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and other organizations that either have very small teams of experts looking to scale or, at times, might lack the specialized expertise internally to manage the complexities of project finance in community-based renewable energy projects. With an influx of new funds, the vast majority must also implement new systems and internal processes for managing and delivering accurate, timely reporting and risk analysis. 

Navigating the complexities of project finance

Over the course of 2024, the GGRF’s funds will be dispersed to the awarded recipients. Once your organization receives its funding, it must hit the ground running to ensure a successfully developed project. Renewable energy project development is an elaborate process often fraught with unforeseen delays, costs, and requirements – and federal funding adds even more layers of complexity. 

Simply put, as a portfolio grows, so do its complexities and reporting requirements. If your organization does not have the specialized expertise or operational infrastructure to manage these needs efficiently, it could risk losing out on the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community at scale. Relying on outdated, siloed systems and manual processes will limit operational scalability and drive up costs. 

It will be vital for your organization to implement operational changes that proactively address these issues in order to minimize delays, overhead costs, and compliance risks during the project development process. While a full organizational overhaul is an option, a much more cost-effective and scalable long-term solution is adopting a modern software solution that empowers your staff to improve operational efficiency and establish scalable internal organization. 

Not all financial software is created equal.

There is no shortage of finance software available today; however, the available options vary widely regarding organization, customizability, and automation features – and there are only a handful of platforms purpose-built for project finance. 

When selecting a software platform, your organization should look for project finance software that provides support throughout the entire project lifecycle, from origination to operation to securitization. In addition, look for three primary functions: a digital single source of truth, workflow automation capabilities, and streamlined compliance features. 

Single Source of Truth 

A cloud-based data room ensures that all stakeholders have access to accurate and up-to-date project information. This establishes a high standard of transparency, which in turn facilitates coordination and alignment across counterparties. 

Workflow Automation 

Slash hours – and overhead – spent on manual tasks through automated workflows so that budget and resources can be spent on strategic, meaningful activities. Automation also minimizes human error and ensures oversight and proactive management. 

Compliance Management

Look for a platform that acts as a centralized hub, enabling seamless tracking of covenants and compliance requirements. Streamlined reporting, customized covenant checklists, and client portals reduce risk and ensure you never miss a deadline. 

Expertise, metrics, and templates for the green lender.

In addition to establishing new functionalities for sustainable infrastructure lenders, your organization should focus on leveraging existing standards, metrics, and expertise – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, new sustainable infrastructure lenders can lean on existing templates and the highly niche knowledge developed and gathered from established experts. Joining a community of lenders, investors, and developers will help keep these insights up to date and always push innovation on behalf of communities.

Templates and Standards

Starting with templated underwriting questionnaires, closing checklists, and standardized form documents will help you close faster while creating consistency for broader capital markets to lean in during refinancing or back leverage activities. 

Impact Metrics 

Metrics such as carbon equivalent offsets, installed capacity, dollars saved per customer, percent of disadvantaged communities served, and more will be key in not only satisfying EPA requirements but also showing a clear and consistent picture of the benefits these federal dollars have created. 

Expertise on Call

Choose a software partner who can give you guidance and best practices on how technology can be best leveraged, as well as how to use and update key templates and reporting. 

Use software to catalyze a scalable, sustainable future.  

If your organization is preparing to receive GGRF funds, you can lay the foundation for managing rapidly scaling renewable energy portfolios by adopting tools that leverage automation, digitization, and other proven fintech advancements. Ideally, doubling your original investment into the community by recycling capital through refinancing, back leverage, securitization, or other capital markets activity because you have created a digital system of record of each asset, and the profitability is clear. 

Cloud-based software like Banyan Infrastructure enables digitized and organized data management, workflow automation, and critical reporting capabilities, so your organization can spend less time in the trenches and more time focusing on what really matters: creating meaningful community impact. 

Request A Demo today to learn how Banyan Infrastructure’s end-to-end software can provide organizations like yours with a comprehensive toolkit for navigating the complexities of managing and reporting on GGRF funds.