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Exclusive: DevEngine launches with $20 million

Illustration of a man working on a solar panel with a money overlay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

DevEngine, a clean energy project incubator, has launched with $20 million in funding from Spring Lane Capital, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The number of small, distributed energy projects is growing quickly and developers face challenges completing their first projects.

Zoom in: DevEngine is focused on working with developers on early-stage projects with established technologies, like community solar, EV fleet charging depots, anaerobic digesters projects and microgrids.

  • Spring Lane Capital is also focused on funding distributed clean energy projects but tends to invest when project developers are at a more advanced stage.
  • DevEngine CEO Tim Callahan described DevEngine as "going after the technologies that work now but in new and innovative business models, with high quality developers."

How it works: The $20 million from Spring Lane Capital is flexible funding that can be used to both help deploy projects and run DevEngine operations, said DevEngine Chairman Jason Scott, who is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Spring Lane.

  • Spring Lane Capital has an initiative called Developer U, which is a workshop that teaches entrepreneurs how to use the principles of project development and financing.

Big picture: More investors, like Spring Lane and Generate Capital, are seeing opportunity in backing sustainable infrastructure developers.

  • As climate entrepreneurs build companies they're realizing that there's a growing need to learn the skills of developing projects like getting permits and securing offtake agreements.
  • Incentives from the IRA are also providing support for projects like EV chargers and community solar.

What's next: DevEngine plans to back its first two projects in the first half of this year.

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