Recognizing that there are market barriers that inhibit the rate of innovation, finance barriers in particular, and in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in 2010, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) used a portion of its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).
CEO's RLF is designed to provide essential working capital to early-stage, emerging Colorado companies that have commercialized innovative energy technologies and are seeking to stabilize, grow and expand their operations in an effort to create jobs and spur economic development in Colorado.
The RLF is administered on behalf of CEO by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), which acts as the fiscal agent for the RLF. Borrowers interested in participating in the RLF start by submitting an application to CEO. After an extensive application review process conducted by a Loan Committee comprised of various energy and finance professionals, approved applicants begin the loan process led by CHFA and overseen by CEO, the Colorado Attorney General's Office, and the Colorado State Controller. Once the loan is closed, the borrower receives the funds and uses them toward the agreed upon work. Borrowers are responsible for abiding by the loan terms, which include loan default provisions. As payments from outstanding loans are received, they flow back into the RLF, "revolve," and are relent to new applicants/borrowers.
In considering loan applications, CEO first analyzes the financial strength of the applicant. CEO then considers a number of criteria, including: job creation, consumer savings, energy security, environmental impact, and whether the applicant has exhausted all other funding possibilities. Whenever possible, CEO seeks to work with prospective borrowers to use the CEO loan as a way to leverage additional private sector funding.