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PACE in MN: Energy finance adviser helps businesses go green

Earlier this year, Crankshaft Supply, a north Minneapolis business that refurbishes parts for diesel engines, invested $180,000 in a rooftop solar array that CEO Jay Miller expects to cut electric consumption for his remanufacturing business by 50 percent and pay for itself within 10 years.

But this small business, even though it has rebounded strongly from the recession, couldn’t finance the investment internally or through a bank. So Miller turned to a four-year-old Minneapolis company called Eutectics that has put together nearly $40 million worth of energy-finance deals and helped building owners like Miller take advantage of energy loan and grant programs around the country.

Eutectics CEO Jeremy Kalin is a former Minnesota legislator who saw a need for a focused, streamlined energy-finance process for small businesses. He talked about how it works with the Star Tribune.

Q: What is Eutectics and why was it needed?

A: Eutectics is an energy-finance adviser. We connect small businesses or big businesses doing energy-technology upgrades such as LED lighting and solar with committed capital that understands the technology and process. Too often, energy efficiency, solar and water-saving projects require too much time, effort and fees for lenders or investors to understand. Eutectics’ lean model connects prequalified energy projects with our committed capital partners, in a way that no one had been doing in the energy-financing marketplace. We’ve built new financing tools to get deals done quickly, and at moderate cost. And larger lenders and investors increasingly rely on Eutectics to build large portfolios of similar projects, to bring capital at scale to these previously underserved sectors. Read more.