Texas' First Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Project Announced in Travis County
The Texas PACE Authority today announced the first PACE project in Texas. The Simon Property Group, Inc. will use Travis County’s PACE program to finance $1.5 million in retrofits at Barton Creek Square, an enclosed mall in southwest Austin built in 1980.
Simon’s water conservation, mechanical and lighting retrofits will lower utility costs and help Travis County conserve water and power. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
PACE is an innovative financing tool that enables owners of commercial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency and distributed generation retrofits.
Texas adopted a commercial PACE statute in June 2013 and Travis County established Texas’ first PACE program in March 2015, using the PACE in a Box uniform “plug and play” model available at no cost to counties and municipalities throughout Texas. The Texas PACE Authority administers the Travis County program.
“The Travis County program is strong and growing,” said Jonathon Blackburn, Managing Director of the Texas PACE Authority. “There is a solid pipeline of additional PACE projects in development and billions of dollars available from private lenders.”
“Austin is poised to have the best first year of any commercial PACE program in the country to date,” Said Beau Engman, Founder and President, PACE Equity, LLC. “We currently have $20 million of projects under contract with applications submitted and an additional pipeline of $15 million.
“Petros is nearing completion on a number of projects, from nonprofits and churches to retail facilities. We expect to close $30 million in the next few months, representing a wide range of clean energy technologies such as solar PV, energy efficient HVAC, and LED lighting” noted Mansoor Ghori, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Petros PACE Financing.
“I’m proud to have sponsored a program that promotes economic development and protects the needs of the environmental community, which are both so important to Travis County,” stated Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, Precinct 3.
“My congratulations to Simon Properties and the Texas PACE Authority,” said Commissioner Brigid Shea, Precinct 2. “Travis County’s leadership on PACE is proving how to be better stewards of our water, energy and economy.”
Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar, said “PACE offers our community a great opportunity to conserve limited energy and water resources and lower costs for participating businesses. I look forward to approving the first PACE project in Texas.
The Barton Creek project is part of Simon’s $500 million commitment to use PACE to finance improvements to its malls throughout the country. Simon supported the Texas PACE legislation and the open market Texas PACE in a Box program and is a member of Keeping PACE in Texas.
“In addition to Barton Creek Square, a number of other projects are primed to position Texas as one of the most dynamic areas in the country for PACE,” noted Blackburn.