Dave Kirkpatrick: Strengthen standard

May 6, 2013 

Strengthen the standard

Thank you for the May 4 article “SJF Ventures raises $90M” on the launch of our new fund.

As a national growth equity fund based in Durham, we are eager to invest in N.C. companies. However, consistent and supportive state policy is a key criteria, particularly in the clean energy sector. Two SJF portfolio companies, groSolar and Community Energy, have built multiple solar farms in N.C. because our state has a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard.

The REPS has helped these and many other companies create more than 21,000 jobs in the state since 2007. Our fund and its portfolio companies invest and create jobs in multiple states, but we would prefer to invest close to home.

However, the recent bills in the N.C. legislature (SB 365 and HB 298) to repeal or roll back the REPS are a big step in the wrong direction. The REPS is helping the state to diversify its energy supply, create local jobs, reduce climate pollution and provide more stable, low-cost power. North Carolina should be looking to expand its commitment to clean energy and energy efficiency.

Dave Kirkpatrick

SJF Ventures, Durham

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