Twain Closes First-Ever PACE Deal in Pennsylvania

July 20, 2020

Twain Financial Partners, The Philadelphia Energy Authority, and SHIFT Capital are proud to announce the closing of the first project in Pennsylvania to use Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing. Twain contributed $1.5 million in C-PACE financing to SHIFT Capital to pay for energy and water efficiency upgrades to a new mixed-use development in the Kensington-Harrowgate neighborhood of Philadelphia.

SHIFT Capital’s project, J-centrel, is key to the company’s unique approach to urban development. J-centrel provides 30,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, including retail storefronts, spaces for entrepreneurs and artists, and an accelerator for local businesses. It also features 116 converted loft-style apartments. The C-PACE financing is being used to pay for measures that will reduce the operating costs in the commercial spaces, including LED lighting, window replacements with insulation and low-e glazing, energy recovery units, variable refrigerant flow heat pumps, and low-flow plumbing. Together, the measures are expected to reduce the building’s total carbon footprint by 2,700 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

Under the leadership of Council member Derek S. Green (At Large), Philadelphia City Council passed legislation enabling C-PACE financing in Philadelphia in June 2019. “I am so proud to see the state’s first C-PACE deal close in Philadelphia. C-PACE is a game-changing tool that brings private sector investment to our city to create jobs, fight climate change, improve public health and help businesses save money,” said Green. “I’m proud to have led the charge to establish this important initiative in partnership with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and I look forward to more C-PACE projects to come.”

C-PACE was enabled in Pennsylvania in 2018 through legislation sponsored by State Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna County). “We worked for years in Harrisburg to finally get C-PACE across the finish line because we understood the economic and environmental benefits of this creative, market-driven funding mechanism to enable businesses to make important water conservation and energy efficiency upgrades,” Sen. Blake said. “I hope and expect that this $1.5 million investment is the first of many impactful C-PACE projects across the Commonwealth. I applaud the work of the Philadelphia Energy Authority for initiating the first C-PACE project in Pennsylvania.”

“SHIFT Capital is excited to use C-PACE for our J-centrel project. C-PACE was a key tool for rounding out our capital stack, reducing ongoing operating costs, and making our building more green,” said Brian Murray, CEO and Founder of Shift Capital, the developer of J-centrel. “C-PACE provided us with competitively-priced financing and a long-term repayment schedule to allow the energy efficiency improvements for the commercial portion of the project to be cash flow positive right away.”

“Twain Financial is thrilled to be the capital provider for the first-ever Pennsylvania C-PACE project,” said Paul Thompson, Business Development Officer at Twain Financial. “Bringing C-PACE to a new state creates an opportunity for additional developers to see the positive impact these projects will have on their communities. As a PACE investor in other markets since 2016, we have seen how C-PACE allows projects to overcome challenges that have hindered adoption of energy efficiency and related projects in commercial buildings.”

Emily Schapira, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, the Philadelphia C-PACE Program Administrator, said, “With this project, Pennsylvania C-PACE is open for business. Philadelphia is leading the charge in building a robust, equitable clean energy economy, and we are proud to be home to the state’s first C-PACE deal.”

Learn more about PACE financing.