The Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund and the Pennsylvania Electric Company Sustainable Energy Fund favor the use of its funds for lending, equity or other forms of investment in projects that meet the fund's objectives. The program is designed to provide maximum flexibility in structuring the investments in a way that best suits the needs of the applicants and the fund's objectives. Generally, investments from the fund will not exceed $500,000 per project, though the Community Foundations reserve the right to deviate from that guideline.
The funds seeks to maintain a balanced portfolio of investments, representing a variety of risk levels. Accordingly, the Community Foundations may not be able to invest in some projects that meet the fund's objectives.
Projects that will be considered
The following types of projects are eligible for consideration:
- Projects that will generate electric power from renewable energy sources. Equity or lending investments may be made in projects that use wind, solar, biomass, methane or hydro to generate electric. Projects may be either small scale (for onsite consumption) or large scale (added to the grid).
- Projects involving the development of sustainable energy technology (e.g. solar panel manufacturing).
- Businesses using renewable energy in the operation of their business (e.g. using wind power to drive equipment).
- Business that enhances energy efficiency and conservation (e.g. recycling).
Any organization, governmental entity, individual or corporation may apply for funding under this program.
Write a Letter of Intent: If you feel your request fits within the type of projects to be considered, write a brief letter (not more than two pages) describing the project for which you are seeking funds. The letter should include: a short description of your organization and its mission, a paragraph outlining the project you have in mind, expected outcomes, estimate of the budget, a listing of other sources of support for your project, and the time frame for completion. Send the letter to the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies or Berks County Community Foundation depending on the territory the project is located in.
Community Foundation staff will review and evaluate all Letters of Intent and contact you as soon as possible to let you know whether or not the request is appropriate for further consideration. If so, you will be requested to provide the following information regarding your project and the project team:
I. Core Technology
- Where the technology/project ranks in the innovation cycle (i.e. pure research and development; applied research and development; demonstration phase; commercialized phase; mature market penetration phase)?
- Patents: Do you have an existing patent/patents on your technology? Do you have patent/patents pending on your technology? If there are no patents or patents pending, can any part of the technology/project be patented?
- Are you using or purchasing another company's license agreement?
- Has the technology/project been tested? If yes, provide the test results.
II. Management Team
We will look for:
- Biographical data on each of the key management personnel
- Descriptions of previous work experience of key personnel with this technology
- Descriptions of key personnel involvement with a start-up company.
III. Market Opportunity
- Your target market
- How this technology/project fits into the marketplace
- Distribution plan
IV. Company Operations
- Business plans, including:
- Financial projections
- Working capital requirements
- Record keeping capabilities
- Suppliers of key components, materials and parts
- Exit strategy
Community Foundation staff will then review the completed application and prepare it for presentation to the Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board will then evaluate the completed application and make funding recommendations to the Community Foundation Boards of Directors for final approval. The timeline for decisions varies greatly, depending on the complexity of the project. Applicants should assume that the process will require a minimum of seventy-five days.
Applicants are strongly urged not to directly contact members of the Advisory Board or the Board of Directors of the Community Foundations. All communications regarding an application should be made through the designated staff representative.