A Financial Boost to California's Renewable Energy Goals
In 2004, the California Public Employees Retirement System — called “CalPERS”— approved plans to invest as much as $200 million in “clean” technologies, including renewable energy technologies, through private equity, project finance and venture capital investments. (CalPERS also gave approval to invest $500 million in public stocks of companies that produce environmentally- friendly products and technologies or demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment.) CalPERS made its first investment in May 2005 when it committed $15 million to NGEN Partners, LLC, a venture capital firm that makes early-stage investments in energy and environmental technologies. The Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings received funds from CalPERS for a $300 million investment fund targeting renewable energy power projects.