SoCalGas | January 27, 2022
Southern California Gas Co. released its ASPIRE 2045 SoCalGas Sustainability Strategy, broadening its goals and benchmarks to be inclusive of environmental health, social equity, and wellbeing in the communities SoCalGas serves. The ASPIRE 2045 Sustainability Strategy highlights the value of setting measurable objectives and considering the positive impacts SoCalGas can have in its communities. Under the ASPIRE 2045 Sustainability Strategy, the energy company will take tangible steps towards a carbon neutral future, invest $50 million over five years into communities the company serves and work to advance racial and gender diversity in the workplace.
The strategy builds on the energy company's March 2021 goal to achieve net zero emissions in its operations and the energy it delivers by 2045. It also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and California's climate objectives. The strategy identifies five sustainability focus areas:
Accelerating the transition of clean energy
Protecting the climate and improving local air quality
Increasing clean energy access and affordability
Advancing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture
Achieving world-class safety
Each focus area has an overarching goal with specific strategies that are quantifiable and measurable, designed to provide transparency on SoCalGas' progress toward its sustainability goals. Examples include:
Investing $50 million in the diverse communities the company serves, including education and workforce investments over the next five years
Taking actions to grow representation of women in leadership roles and overall workforce by 2025
Taking actions to lead the utility industry in racial and ethnic diversity representation in leadership roles by 2025
Increasing SoCalGas total annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise spend to 45% by 2025
Enhancing SoCalGas' damage prevention program to decrease the rate of third-party pipeline dig-in damages 40% by 2030
Our sustainability strategy puts our environmental, social, and governance goals into action and is built on our core values of doing the right thing, championing people, and shaping the future. This will be an evolving strategy that we intend to build upon and use to hold ourselves accountable. At SoCalGas, we are committed to a collective, collaborative transition to a more sustainable energy future and this strategy will help guide us on our path to achieve that goal."
Jawaad Malik, SoCalGas vice president of strategy and sustainability and chief environmental officer
A key part of SoCalGas' Sustainability Strategy is pursuing its climate objectives with an increased focus on the use of clean fuels like hydrogen and renewable natural gas. In October, SoCalGas shared its Clean Fuels Whitepaper, a comprehensive technical analysis that examines how to achieve California's carbon neutrality goals through a more integrated, reliable, and affordable energy system.
SoCalGas has a goal to achieve a collective and collaborative transition to a decarbonized future, using its resilient infrastructure, improving local air quality through existing and emerging technologies, and creating a culture of diversity, inclusion, and safety with training and innovation.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas is committed to the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra, an energy services holding company based in San Diego.
Sunstone Credit | February 11, 2022
Sunstone Credit, Inc., a technology-enabled solar loan finance platform for businesses, announced the company's initial fundraise, including investments from Forbright Bank, Cross River Digital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, Early Light Ventures and the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund. In addition to their investments, Forbright Bank and Cross River will also serve as strategic partners to Sunstone, and provide the financing to back its loan portfolio.
Sunstone is on a mission to enable more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) access to solar energy through its technology-driven platform offering affordable and easy-to-understand solar loan products. This round of investment will allow Sunstone to scale its team, invest in its best-in-class technology platform and continue to grow its national network of solar developer partners.
Sunstone was founded with the mission of helping more businesses go solar. We are excited to have found such an incredible group of likeminded investors to join us. Together we are committed to building a platform that will drive commercial sales growth for our solar developer partners and enable cost savings for borrowers, while contributing to a cleaner future for the planet. Additionally, we are thrilled that Forbright Bank and Cross River have elected to further their relationship with Sunstone, by not only investing, but also providing the funds to back our loans as strategic partners."
Josh Goldberg, Co-Founder of Sunstone
Sunstone is the creation of Goldberg and Wilson Chang, who together have decades of solar industry experience. They are joined by a co-founding team with backgrounds across climate, financial services and technology.
"We have a very high regard for Josh and his terrific team and look forward to a strong and growing partnership with Sunstone," said John Delaney, Founder of Forbright Bank. "Forbright is mission aligned around decarbonization and sustainability and helping build Sunstone into a leading solar lender for the small business marketplace aligns with that mission. We look forward to working with Josh as he builds a great business that will help decarbonize the world by 2050."
Sunstone's loan products are affordable, easy to understand and backed by the significant lending capabilities of banks such as Forbright Bank and Cross River that have partnered with the company.
"We have worked with Josh, Wilson and the team for years as they successfully revolutionized residential solar finance," said Hillel Olivestone, Head of Corporate Development at Cross River. "The Cross River Digital Ventures team is excited to back Sunstone as they bring the same entrepreneurial spirit and technology-first approach to financial services for the SMB commercial solar market."
Designed to be simple and easy to use, Sunstone's best-in-class technology platform enables solar developer partners to offer straightforward loan financing options to their SMB customers through a streamlined online application.
"From an investment perspective, Sunstone is an attractive combination of strong solar industry tailwinds, highly favorable market dynamics in the commercial solar lending space and great founder-market fit," said Lawson DeVries, Managing General Partner of Grotech Ventures. "Josh and team have the bold entrepreneurial vision needed to scale the business and are already starting on second base given their previous experiences building companies in the solar industry."
With energy costs rising and climate change discourse growing increasingly prevalent, more SMBs than ever are seeking to reduce their electric bill and carbon footprint by going solar and Sunstone has developed the right loan products to meet this moment.
"Sunstone taps into two of the most compelling themes today: fintech and the clean energy transition," said Mike Leffer, Principal at Early Light Ventures. "At the same time, they are offering a product that both is unique within the current commercial solar finance market and has high demonstrated demand. With the team's experience spanning solar, finance and technology, we are confident in Sunstone's ability to make solar more accessible for businesses through their platform."
"Creating a connective tissue between financial institutions, solar installers, and SMB borrowers is a very clever way to bring much more solar to the U.S. via SMBs. Financial institutions want to grow their loans, SMB borrowers need a simple way to finance solar, and solar installers lack easy to use financial tools to scale their businesses," said Maryland Momentum Fund Managing Director, Claire Broido Johnson.
About Sunstone Credit
Sunstone Credit is on a mission to democratize access to solar for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Sitting at the intersection of climate, finance and technology, Sunstone has built a best-in-class technology platform and partnered with leading financial institutions and a national network of solar developers to provide SMB borrowers access to simple, affordable and easy-to-understand solar loan products with flexible terms and a streamlined application process. When SMB customers go solar using Sunstone's products, they save money and reduce their carbon footprint, driving a clean, green future for all.
Canadian Solar Inc. | October 22, 2020
Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar"), announced today that it has closed a supply contract and long term service agreement with Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC, part of the Renewable Power Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management ("Goldman Sachs"), to deliver and integrate a 75 MW / 300 MWh lithium-ion battery storage solution into the 100 MWac Mustang solar plant in California. The 75 MW or 4-hour 300 MWh energy storage system is a retrofit addition to the Mustang solar plant in King's County, California, which was originally developed by Canadian Solar's wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy, LLC ("Recurrent Energy"). The solar plant was connected to the grid in August 2016 and the project's equity stake was later sold to Goldman Sachs in May 2019.