The California Clean Energy Fund, a new $30 million public benefit investment fund, hired three venture capital firms to manage most of the money. It invested $8.5 million each with Nth Power, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and VantagePoint Venture Partners, and all three managers will co-invest another $8.5 million for CalCEF projects.
The San Francisco-based fund was created to advance clean energy technologies, especially in Northern California; it was part of the bankruptcy settlement Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Francisco, made with the California Public Utilities Commission in June 2003.
Nth Power, a San Francisco venture capital firm that specializes in energy and energy research, will manage its allocation as a side fund to its current $56 million fund, Nth Power Fund II-A, said Rodrigo Prudencio, principal at Nth Power. Draper Fisher Jurvetson's allocation will be managed through DFJ AltaTerra, an affiliate fund launched to make investments in clean technology. CalCEF will participate as a limited partner in VantagePoint Venture Partners.
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois have similar clean energy vehicles, but they are funded from trusts financed by ratepayers, Mr. Prudencio said. The California fund, however, will reinvest its investment proceeds, grow the fund and invest with other venture capital firms. "This is the first vehicle of its sort that we know of," he said.