newresource.bmpA group of prominent Silicon Valley business leaders have formed what it is calling the nation’s first commercial bank targeting green industries.

Called the New Resource Bank, it loans money to businesses developing eco-friendly products and takes deposits from people wanting to support such products.

The bank, headquartered in an environmentally friendly building on San Francisco’s Howard Street, launches with $24.7 million from 240 investors. Among its proponents are Roger Smith, former chief executive of Silicon Valley bank, Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development, Lisa Gansky, co-founder of Ofoto and Paul Dolan, co-founder of Mendocino Wine Company. There’s a good summary of the bank in the Mercury News story today by Paul Rogers.

Paul’s story notes that green mutual funds began more than a decade ago, followed by venture capital firms that focused on clean technologies, and so banks are a logical next step.

It signed a deal last month with SunPower, a San Jose solar power company, whereby the bank will make 25-year loans to homeowner to install solar panels, and let the owners pay off the cost with monthly installments similar to the way they pay their electricity bills.