Key Equipment Finance today announced it has provided $100 million in project financing for new Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) commercial and industrial fuel cell deployments nationwide. Previously, Key provided Bloom $300 million in project financing for approximately 70 Bloom Energy fuel cell projects throughout the United States.
Investment supports up to 15 megawatts of clean, reliable, affordable on-site electric power
Customers nationwide to benefit
The Bloom Energy Server is the world’s most advanced fuel cell platform, utilizing solid oxide fuel cell technology to deliver clean, on-site and highly reliable electric power. Bloom Energy Servers have been widely adopted by commercial and industrial customers, including 25 of the Fortune 100, as a way of cutting electricity costs, reducing vulnerability to increasing grid outages, and meeting sustainability goals for clean energy.
Protection against costly grid outages
According to the Eaton Blackout Tracker, the US experienced more than 3,500 grid outages in 2017, impacting 36.7 million people. The Department of Energy estimates that electricity outages caused by extreme weather and other factors cost American businesses more than $150 billion annually.
Bloom Energy Servers protect customers against the impact of severe weather, as they are located on-site where the electricity is used and do not depend upon vulnerable transmission and distribution wires which could be impacted by storms. Bloom Energy Servers generate electricity from natural gas or biogas without combustion, enabling them to produce 60 percent less CO2 emissions than the power that they offset from the US grid. Bloom’s technology is being rapidly adopted in always-on, energy-intensive sectors such as healthcare, high-tech manufacturing and data centers.
Server power impact
The investment from Key will provide lease financing for approximately 10-15 megawatts of clean Bloom Energy Server power, the deployment of which will have the effect of reducing CO2 emissions by 33,000 to 50,000 tons per year relative to the US grid. The additional financing is also expected to enable shorter term deal structures that cater to customers who are constrained or inhibited from signing long-term contracts.
"Bloom Energy has developed a breakthrough electric power solution that directly addresses the growing affordability, reliability and sustainability needs of American businesses," said Adam Warner, president of Key Equipment Finance, which provides equipment financing tailored to the energy market. "Customized financing plays an important role in making clean, affordable, reliable electricity available to more customers, which contributes to KeyBank's broader sustainability goals."
New ways to achieve sustainability
"Our partnership with Key Equipment Finance gives commercial and industrial electricity consumers an important new way to meet financial, reliability and sustainability goals,” said Randy Furr, chief financial officer of Bloom Energy. "Electricity is the lifeblood of the economy, and clean, affordable, reliable electricity is good for business."
A major backer of alternative and renewable energy businesses and projects, KeyBank has made renewable portfolio investments of more than $2 billion and financed more than 14.1 GW of renewable power generation in the US since 2010.
Clean energy partnership
Key began its commercial relationship with Bloom Energy in 2014 with a $100 million commitment for lease financing. Since then, Key has continued to increase its investment, including more than $300 million for lease financing and a $30 million investment in Bloom’s Power Purchase Agreement program. KeyBanc Capital Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm of KeyCorp, served as an underwriter for Bloom Energy’s initial public offering in July 2018.