The Florida PACE Funding Agency short-listed firms on Friday to negotiate for banking and administrative services.

The agency is implementing what is believed to be the first statewide new property-assessed clean energy program, also known as PACE.

The three-member PACE board selected ACS State & Local Solutions Inc. and SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC to enter into contract negotiations for third-party administrative services.

The successful contractor will be paid to work with vendors, property owners and local governments to establish and run the program.

The board also ordered negotiations with top-listed firms to provide investment banking services, which will eventually include the placement of long-term debt as assessments on properties are bundled.

The firms are Citi, Raymond James & Associates and a consortium consisting of Estrada Hinojosa & Co., CCP Capital Partners and Renewable Energy Equipment Leasing LLC.

Final selection of the firms is expected to take place March 21.

On March 22, the agency’s financial advisors will meet with the successful banking and administrative services firms to begin structuring the program, including developing a process for signing up members.

The co-financial advisors are Public Financial Management Inc., First Southwest Co., and Southeastern Investment Securities LLC.

The Florida PACE Funding Agency has already received $2 billion of validated bonding capacity from a Florida court.

The planned PACE bonds are not expected to be issued any time soon since the fledgling program still needs to sign up member local governments and property owners.

The agency is an independent unit of local government and its founding sponsors are Flagler County and the city of Kissimmee. The program’s website is at www.floridapace.gov.

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