PBN: Five Questions with Jeffrey Diehl
Five Questions With Jeffrey Diehl
By Scott Blake
November 23, 2018 3:21 am
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
Jeffrey Diehl | CEO, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
1. How is the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank funded? The bank, a quasi-public corporation, does not receive funding from the state budget nor is it guaranteed in any way by the state. Our individual investment programs that support water, local roads and bridges, energy and brownfield remediation are capitalized from a variety of sources, including the federal government. We issue bonds to private-sector investors to significantly increase the amount of funding available to invest in important infrastructure projects in Rhode Island.
2. What is Rhode Island’s most pressing infrastructure need? Over the longer term, we are taking concrete steps to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient in the face of looming climate change. As Rhode Island looks to make historic investments in its school buildings, the bank has expanded its portfolio to support that investment.
3. What other initiatives has the bank undertaken? In the energy sector, we have established the Efficient Buildings Fund, which provides loans below market rate to municipalities and other quasi-state agencies, including public universities, to finance energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. We also established the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program, which assists commercial and nonprofit property owners who want to invest in energy-efficient, renewable-energy and water-conservation projects. We are in the process of developing a similar program for homeowners. In addition, we established the Brownfield Remediation Fund.
4. How have the bank’s Narragansett Bay projects progressed? The Narragansett Bay Commission, which serves about 40 percent of the state’s population, is our largest customer and we are proud of the projects that we have helped them finance. These include clean and renewable energy; green infrastructure to reduce the cost of processing stormwater; making their facilities more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events; and generally updating and improving facilities.
5. How are the bank’s annual Infrastructure Summit meetings useful? The summit brings together industry professionals, national experts, municipalities and state leaders to explore ways to improve state and local infrastructure. The summit offers an opportunity to hear new ideas, deep dive into innovative projects and connect with the financing mechanisms that will get projects off the ground.
Original article available by clicking here.