US energy utility PG&E Corporation has renamed its corporate venturing unit after making its first investment since restarting the division in December. On May 7, PG&E changed the name of Pacific Venture Capital to Pacific Energy Capital I after originally starting the operation in June 2000 under Bryant Tong to make up to $500m in investments over the following five years. However, PG&E emerged from bankruptcy in 2004 and the affiliate was quiet until December when the utility renamed it and formed three new affiliates: Pacific Energy Capital II, Pacific Energy Capital III, and Pacific Energy Capital IV. The three new affiliates are to manage a portfolio of passive financial investments in growing energy companies, while in December PG&E said what is now called Pacific Energy Capital I would "establish and manage a portfolio of passive financial investments in growing energy and telecommunications companies," although the latter sector has been dropped. Its first deal was to back SolarCity Corporation, a California-based provider of solar energy system installation and design. In January, PG&E said it would invest through its venture fund $60m in tax-equity financing for solar installations for US homes and businesses by SolarCity.
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PG&E renames nascent venturing unit
May 27, 2010 • James Mawson
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