Innovative Partnership Sets Green Banks and Community Lenders Up for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Success

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A collaboration between Banyan Infrastructure, Elemental Excelerator and the Milken Institute will lay the foundation for financiers to maximize the impact of the historic GGRF

MAY 2, 2024 — A new partnership formed by innovators in the tech, investment and nonprofit sectors will support green banks and community lenders to maximize the benefit of the historic $27-billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). The partners — which include Banyan Infrastructure, a leading project finance software platform; Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit investor scaling climate technologies with deep community impact; and the Milken Institute’s Community Infrastructure Center, a platform supporting project sponsor and capital providers to advance community, economic and climate infrastructure projects — are joining forces to enable green banks and community lenders to increase throughput of funding and support to essential housing, energy and transportation projects. As structured, the partnership will bring together the following critical components to empower existing and new local, regional, rural and Tribal financiers with the digital tools, technical support and industry best practices they need to rapidly scale up financing capabilities and fund more clean, cost-effective infrastructure in their communities.

  • Banyan will provide access to industry-leading software to a cohort of community lenders, which will include best practice scorecards, underwriting checklists, impact tracking, compliance, monitoring and reporting. Existing customers have experienced notable benefits from using these tools, including a 40% increase in deal throughput, a 25% decrease in time per deal and a significant reduction of 30 days for each deal from NDA to close timeline.
  • In addition to supporting the expansion of Banyan’s platform to additional community lenders, Milken will provide a set of trainings and best practice resources on funding and developing specific types of projects of interest to community lenders.
  • Elemental will fund and support Banyan to partner with community lenders to build out the community engagement component of its financing and transaction platform, starting with a partnership with Access Plus Capital to support climate solutions in the Fresno community.

A cohort of community lenders, including the Clean Energy Fund of Texas, Nevada Clean Energy Fund, Access Plus Capital and others, will be the first to benefit from the tools and resources offered by the partners. 

Rachel Halfaker, Community Infrastructure Center Director at Milken Institute, said, “We know we can’t solve these challenges alone, and by designing shared solutions for both financiers and project sponsors, we can develop standard models and, importantly, create greater transparency and support systems to help traditionally underserved communities tap into these new and existing products — many for the first time. Through this partnership, we’re looking forward to providing a platform to support a growing project pipeline from conception to financing and contributing to industry best practices for greater adoption.”

GGRF is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to catalyze sustainable infrastructure investment and close critical market gaps, especially for underserved communities. The $27-billion funding program will capitalize hundreds of green banks, community lenders and other local and state authorities and financiers, many of which need to quickly build out infrastructure and capacity to provide access to this low-cost financing to projects such as EV charging infrastructure and clean energy. The partnership between Banyan, Elemental and Milken supports community lenders as they prepare to deploy tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in GGRF investment capital.

Will Greene, CEO of Banyan Infrastructure, shared, “Project financiers desperately need a collaborative ecosystem for accelerating both the deployment and recycling of capital. Banyan Infrastructure seeks to become the connective tissue in that ecosystem, and this partnership with Milken Institute and Elemental Excelerator brings us one step closer to doing just that. By sharing networks, resources and expertise, our efforts will help green banks, community development financial institutions and other community lenders maximize their financing opportunities and transform this historic $27-billion fund into a more liquid and connected marketplace that remains accessible even after the initial funds are invested.”

The tools and resources provided by the partners will support lenders in building a strong pipeline of project opportunities within the communities they serve and structuring their investment strategies to meet community needs. Christina Angelides, Managing Director of Policy at Elemental Excelerator, said, “This partnership provides community lenders with the best available industry insights and information. With the backdrop of a historic investment in climate solutions directly into communities with the EPA’s recently announced GGRF, this type of financial infrastructure and tools is critical to accelerating last-mile deployment of essential projects that deliver economic opportunity, cleaner air and water, and a healthier future for communities.” 

Leaders from participating community lenders shared their thoughts on the initiative's potential impact and the importance of leveraging GGRF for local communities:

  • Billy Briscoe, EVP & Chief Operations Officer, Clean Energy Fund of Texas

"The Clean Energy Fund of Texas's partnership with Banyan Infrastructure will ensure that communities in our state can take advantage of the Greenhouse Gas Relief Fund's game-changing opportunities. We look forward to learning from these organizations as we drive community impact and boost digital strategy. Meanwhile, we are excited to share our knowledge as the first green bank in Texas to deliver low-cost financing for clean energy solutions. Together, we will create the project finance standards, systems, and efficiencies that help to deliver sustainable infrastructure to every Texan." 

  • Tate Hill, President & CEO, Access Plus Capital

“For 15 years, Access Plus Capital has had a positive influence on the communities of California's Central Valley. The GGRF opens a new way for us to create lasting change by developing the sustainable infrastructure this region needs to adapt to current and future environmental challenges. As we venture into sustainable infrastructure development, Access Plus Capital is excited to strengthen our project finance capabilities. This will allow us to contribute to building happy, healthy, and prosperous communities – resilient and equipped to thrive in the face of the coming years.”

  • Asheesh S. Bhalla, General Counsel/Director of Operations, Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF)

“Collaboration is core to the Nevada Clean Energy Fund’s mission, enabling us to leverage public dollars alongside private-sector investment. We are eager to expand our impact through this partnership, working with other trailblazers in clean energy finance to ensure blended capital is deployed quickly and effectively, not just for Nevadans but at green banks across the United States. This unique combination of cutting-edge technology, philanthropic experience, and community-engagement knowledge will help to chart a course for the project finance industry and bring clarity to publicly funded clean financing institutions and private investors alike.”

About Banyan Infrastructure

Banyan Infrastructure is a project finance software platform designed to simplify, accelerate and optimize sustainable infrastructure financing across the deal life cycle. Our solution oversees and automates the complex and time-consuming processes in the origination, portfolio and compliance management of sustainable assets, which boosts profits per investment, increases deal velocity and saves thousands of hours at every stage. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn for more information.

About Elemental Excelerator

Elemental is a nonprofit investor in climate technologies with deep community impact. Elemental has a 14-year track record of investing in companies scaling essential climate solutions that make neighborhoods and homes cleaner, healthier, safer and more affordable. Elemental, which has successfully stewarded $180 million in government and philanthropic resources, de-risks technologies for additional investment and centers social equity and community impact in project deployment.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life. With a focus on financial, physical, mental and environmental health, we bring together the best ideas and innovative resourcing to develop blueprints for tackling some of our most critical global issues through the lens of what’s pressing now and what’s coming next. For more information, visit

For more information about the Milken Institute and the 10,000 Communities Initiative, visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram

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Elemental Excelerator