New Canaan Capital launches biomass investor partnership

By Anna Austin | February 28, 2012

Investors interested in the biomass arena now have the opportunity to put their money toward what New Canaan Capital Management LLC has dubbed the “Green Energy Opportunity Fund.” The private equity-funded limited partnership will invest in preselected North American closed-loop biomass power projects.

Jeffrey Weisz, senior managing director for New Canaan Capital Management, expects the fund to raise $350 million. He added that the company has already identified four U.S. projects and two in Canada as qualifying investments, and a dozen more are under consideration but haven’t yet met all of the group’s necessary requirements.  One of those is working on a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with a major utility. The projects the fund has already committed to have those signed, according to Weisz.

The Green Energy Opportunity Fund will take an equity ownership in all of the projects, which will have third party operators, Weisz said, and will also grow their own feedstock. “The first four projects we’re doing we will own the land and harvest our own fuel stock, which will be eucalyptus and cottonwood trees.  Each project will have 10,000-12,000 acres, so everything is controlled and we won’t be subject to market conditions.”

Weisz added that the group will have a trust modeled after what Canada requires of forest harvesters. “In Canada, if you harvest on Canadian soil, you have to have a trust and fund it for anything you cut,” he said. “If I cut 20 acres of trees, I have to deposit a sufficient amount of money into that account to replant what I’ve just harvested, and we’re going to apply the same concept.”

For more information, contact Jeffrey Weisz at