Connecticut Green Bank Staff Appointed to PACENation Board of Directors, Leadership Council

EVP/CIO Bert Hunter named to PACENation board; VP Mackey Dykes to serve on Leadership Council

 

Rocky Hill, CT (March 27, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank is proud to announce that Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter has been named to the PACENation Board of Directors. Additionally, Vice President Commercial and Industrial Programs Mackey Dykes has been appointed to serve on the PACENation Leadership Council, an advisory committee for the organization.

PACENation is a movement of people and organizations united in their support for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACENation works towards a future in which PACE financing is used to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resiliency upgrades to homes and commercial buildings in every municipality across the United States. Currently, PACE programs are operating in 19 states, including Connecticut, which has a thriving Commercial PACE (C-PACE) program.

“We are very glad that Bert agreed to join our Board,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “He’s got a very extensive background in finance and investment, and he’s a leading expert in clean energy finance and PACE. It’s a perfect fit and he will be a great asset as we continue to promote the value of PACE.”

As the Connecticut Green Bank’s Chief Investment Officer, Hunter leads the development of new and innovative financing programs designed to attract more private capital to scale-up the state’s clean energy investments. In its first five years, the Green Bank has used its resources to drive more than $1 billion of clean energy investment in Connecticut. Projects recorded through FY 2016 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy, which has helped create thousands of jobs in our communities, prevented the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitated rapid growth in the deployment of clean energy.

After joining the Connecticut Green Bank in 2012, Dykes served as their Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he helped lead the transformation, development and implementation of the Green Bank’s clean energy financing mission as well as running its day-to-day operations. In 2016, Dykes assumed responsibility for the Commercial, Industrial and Institutional portfolio, and through programs such as C-PACE, he helps commercial and industrial building owners, non-profits, schools and hospitals access affordable capital for clean energy projects. Prior to joining the Green Bank, Dykes was the White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The formation of the Leadership Council will create a more formal means for members to share insights on the market, ideas, opinions, and advice with PACENation staff and its Board of Directors.

“Our goal is to create a Council whose members are leaders in the PACE marketplace and whose composition really reflects the breadth of organizations from all sectors that have been working constructively toward making PACE financing available to all building owners throughout the U.S.” said Gabrielson, adding “Mackey has helped build one of the most successful C-PACE programs in the country.”

For more information on Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About PACENation

PACENation is the national, non-profit advocacy organization for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. To learn more about PACENation, please visit pacenation.us

 

 

For More Information, Contact:

Rudy Sturk

[email protected]

 

 

Building a Market for Renewable Thermal Technologies

March 23, 2017 – Though a mature technology, renewable thermals occupy a small niche in Connecticut — and in the U.S. at large. A new Yale-led study analyzes the market potential of this technology across the state and provides key insights into spurring consumer demand.

According to the analysis, led by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), renewable thermals have significant market potential in the state if supported by appropriate public policy and financing tools. Renewable thermal technologies comprise a range of products—from solar water heaters to district energy systems — all designed to use renewable energy in the cooling of space and the heating of both space and water.

Collectively, the use of energy for thermal purposes accounts for roughly one-third of all U.S. energy consumption. In Connecticut, over 60 percent of the energy used in residential and commercial buildings is for space heating and cooling; this demand, combined with the energy used to heat water, account for 30 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Switching from conventional fossil fuel providers of thermal energy to RTTs could offer significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions — of particular relevance as Connecticut aims to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.

“Renewable heating and cooling are not as visible or high profile as renewable electricity, but holds an enormous reservoir of possibility for utilizing local resources to off-set fossil fuels. Like renewable electricity, renewable heating and cooling need supportive policies and financing products to kick start a viable market,” says Helle Gronli, associate research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and director of the Feasibility of Renewable Thermal Technologies in Connecticut project (FORTT).

The FORTT team is based at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and is part of a larger coalition that includes the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Eversource Energy, the United Illuminating Company, and the Connecticut Green Bank. CBEY is based at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management.

The first part of the study analyzed the market potential of RTTs in Connecticut through 2050. The findings suggest that RTTs could competitively serve 19 percent of thermal demand in buildings across the state. Annually, this represents the curtailment of 1.4 million tons of CO2e emissions. However, realizing Connecticut’s overall goal requires a considerably higher rate of RTT deployment than what currently is found competitive.

The second part of the study, more behavioral in nature, revealed existing barriers and drivers that influence whether or not consumers choose to adopt renewable thermal technologies. Through a series of in-depth interviews across the range of RTT stakeholders, the findings revealed interventions needed to establish a marketplace in which RTTs are both viable and trusted alternatives to non-renewable technologies. The results can be distilled into four core insights:

  1. Public institutions, which tend to be both large property owners and heavy energy users, should show direction by adopting RTTs internally and establishing external regulation (e.g. building codes) to encourage the development of the nascent market and increase customer awareness.
  2. Innovative financial products and strategies to improve the value proposition of RTT investments are needed to help the financing of RTTs achieve scale; this, in turn, will reduce upfront costs.
  3. Resources must be deployed to develop a competent and competitive regional industry. A well-supported and trustworthy base of installers and experts focused on the RTT industry directly supports consumer trust in this new market.
  4. New policies should be considered to create value streams attached to RTTs. Thermal renewable energy credits, carbon pricing and voluntary markets for clean energy are clear examples, as are building certification schemes through which property value and market rents reflect efficient thermal technologies.

“In order for us to achieve our long-term climate change strategies in Connecticut, we are going to need to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in households and businesses throughout the state,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “By working together with Avangrid, Eversource, and Yale we can attract private investment to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technology while creating jobs and helping consumers.”

On the supply side, the study shows that clear policy guidelines and standardized regulatory processes are needed to build a fluid and efficient RTT market.

Among consumers, RTTs tend to suffer from a deficit of awareness. Marketing campaigns to raise their profile, similar to Connecticut’s recent “Solarize” campaign, could go a long way to increasing demand and lowering soft costs. These efforts could be paired with financial tools, whether block grants or leasing agreements, to help defray upfront installation costs—one of the central barriers to adoption.

“This report builds our understanding of the work that’s needed to support the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in Connecticut,” said Rob Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Developing a sustainable market for renewable thermal technologies will help us reach Connecticut’s climate change goals as part of the work of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, while at the same time advancing implementation of our Comprehensive Energy Strategy.”

Download full copies of the reports here.

 

 

Speaker Aresimowicz Appoints Affordable Housing and Finance Expert Betsy Crum to Join the Connecticut Green Bank

Rocky Hill, CT (March 14, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors. Ms. Betsy Crum comes to the Board with substantial background in affordable housing development and finance serving communities of need.

“I am excited to help the Connecticut Green Bank serve its mission, particularly among historically disadvantaged households or distressed communities,” said Crum. “Families in these households face high energy burdens, and really require attention and investment to fix the health and safety problems that get in the way of installing energy improvements. I am honored that Speaker Aresimowicz asked me to join the Board of Directors of the nation’s first green bank.”

Since 2015, Ms. Crum has been the Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development, a non-profit housing development corporation focused on creating and preserving affordable and supportive housing for low income families and individuals. From 2011 to 2015, she was Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, and from 2005 to 2010 she was Director of Real Estate for the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development. Before stepping into these positions, she served in leadership roles with the Corporation for Supportive Housing; with Co-op Initiatives, Inc.; and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Ms. Crum had an early career with community development and housing coordinator roles for the Towns of Enfield and Plainville and with the Connecticut Department of Housing.

Ms. Crum is an honors scholar from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Urban Studies, with distinction. Her recent professional affiliations include chairing the Journey Home Hartford Board of Directors; a member of the CT Interagency Council on Affordable Housing; a member of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations; being Housing Chair for the Partnership for Strong Communities’ “Opening Doors – CT” framework, and being Chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston Advisory Council.

Catherine Smith, Commissioner for the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, added, “As the Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank, I am pleased that Speaker Aresimowicz has appointed Betsy to the Board of Directors. Betsy has the background to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission to attract private investment in clean energy deployment in Connecticut, reduce the energy burden on households and businesses, create jobs in our communities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. The Green Bank has made great strides in the past couple years in helping low-to-moderate income families get access to savings on their energy bills through clean energy improvements.”

Ms. Crum was appointed by Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington). “The legislature created Connecticut Green Bank in 2011 to attract private investment in clean energy and provide increased access to more affordable financing for clean energy projects,” said Speaker Aresimowicz. “Betsy’s appointment should help the Green Bank with expanding their markets. It is important they let residents and businesses in all locations know there are opportunities in clean energy throughout Connecticut.”

Ms. Crum replaces outgoing board member Patricia Wrice, who also recently retired as Executive Director of Operation Fuel.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

Kresge invests $3 million in Connecticut Green Bank to support solar generation and storage in affordable housing

First round of Kresge Community Finance loans provides $14 million to six CDFIs, DFAs

December 18, 2016 – The Kresge Foundation announced today $14 million in investments to six Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF).

KCF invited proposals from qualifying CDFIs and DFAs working in American cities on projects that align with Kresge’s strategic priorities in six program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Detroit.

Kresge Community Finance wordmarkMore than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with small operating grants.

Program-related investments made in the first round of Kresge Community Finance funding include:

  • $3 million to Reinvestment Fund to support creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans.
  • $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank to support the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in Connecticut’s urban and coastal communities.
  • $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England to support the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing, and healthy food retail projects in cities in Southern New England.
  • $3 million to Enterprise Community Loan Fund for the equitable revitalization of the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit’s East Jefferson neighborhood.
  • $3 million to Boston Community Capital in support of its collaboration with MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in Massachusetts cities pursuing community-led placemaking redevelopment.
  • $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of its partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density and walkability.

In total, the Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations. Additional investments through KCF will be announced in 2017.

“We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs,” said Joe Evans, the foundation’s portfolio manager, Social Investment Practice, “and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities.”

Kresge’s Social Investment Practice uses a variety of financial tools to invest in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments by 2020.

“To move that amount of money, we wanted to explore innovative ways of sourcing and funding a large pipeline of investments that advance our mission, while balancing risk and portfolio construction considerations,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investments Practice. “The demand for KCF proved to us that there is a market for this type of product, and we’re thrilled to partner with and support so many important efforts that will improve opportunity for thousands of low-income people.”

CDFIs are private nonprofits that leverage private sector investment to provide financing and technical assistance for a range of community development activities, including job creation, small business development, housing and other community development.

DFAs are public, private and non-profit development entities that provide financing for programs that foster job creation and economic development with a focus on growing housing and employment opportunities in low income communities.

Does Connecticut’s Green Bank Hold the Secret to the Future of Clean Energy?

With the goal of getting clean energy development less dependent on government funds, the state’s Green Bank may be the model for success in a Trump presidency.

 

By Jan Ellen Spiegel, InsideClimate NEWS

 

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (Dec. 12, 2016) —Bryan Garcia, president of the Connecticut Green Bank, said he knew five years ago when it was created that it would be an important model for funding clean energy projects.

He didn’t know it might become critical for funding them.

In the face of a Donald Trump presidency that dismisses climate change and threatens to ignore its solutions, the future of clean energy may rely heavily on new approaches like the ones pioneered by the Connecticut Green Bank, the first-ever statewide one. The bank’s mission is to leverage limited public money into even more private investment in clean energy so eventually there is no need for public money. That would create jobs, lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The green bank model may be an attractive tool under a Trump presidency,” Garcia said. “Public-private partnerships like ours spur investment in local clean energy economies that create jobs and ultimately mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Connecticut bank said it has surpassed $1 billion in money put in play—some for loans, other money for default security— with an average of $6 in private funding created from every $1 in public money. It has designed a dozen or more clean energy and efficiency financial products, programs and marketing efforts. Best known is its heralded Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, C-PACE, program that is transforming how commercial properties finance clean energy and energy efficiency improvements.

The bank says it has created nearly 215 megawatts of clean power across more than 20,000 projects, the equivalent of nearly 13,000 jobs directly for clean energy companies and other businesses that benefit from clean energy, and saved more than 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted.

Initially the private banking community saw the bank as competition, but has come around so much that two early popular programs are now run solely by private banks. Officials say several private companies have launched specifically because of opportunities created by the bank’s success.

“Our goal is to be catalytic,” Garcia said. “These problems aren’t going to be solved by taxpayers and ratepayers. These problems are going to be solved by bringing more private investment into the clean energy economies.”

“It’s exceeded all expectations,” said Reed Hundt, the founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Coalition for Green Capital. Hundt, a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission under President Bill Clinton, sits on the Connecticut Green Bank board of directors.

The green bank idea was hatched by Hundt and Dan Esty, a Yale University professor specializing in business, law and the environment and a former EPA official, while both were working on President Obama’s transition team.

Esty had long espoused the concept that clean energy and combating climate change could create new businesses and jobs. In 2011, he became commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Green Bank was born.

“Your goal is to get people into the real market where they can operate without government support or subsidy,” said Esty, who is no longer commissioner. He believes industry, not government, should pick technologies. “The key role of government was to de-risk the flow of funds into clean energy.”

The bank replaced the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, a quasi-governmental organization funded by $27 million annually in electricity ratepayer fees given out as rebates.

The bank still gets those ratepayer fees along with just under a quarter of the state’s proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions and periodic federal government and nonprofit grants.

But now that money is used mostly for loans and other mechanisms to draw private investment.

Growing Pains

Garcia and Bert Hunter, a veteran banker hired as the bank’s chief financial officer, learned early they would have to more than just show up with money to get private banks to work with them. They would have to invent programs; explain to banks, developers and contractors how they would work; market the programs and financial products; and invest so others could see the bank wasn’t afraid to risk its own money.

“Our role is to get things started,” Hunter said.

It worked.

David Cantor, senior vice president and business banking team leader for First Niagara, recently purchased by KeyBank, said Hunter smoothed the way for his bank to invest in a commercial solar lease financing program as a first foray into clean energy financing. His bank has now committed more than $17 million to the program.

“They would come to us and they would say ‘here’s project X,'” he said. “‘We’ll provide a guarantee or we’ll provide some financing behind you or we’ll make sure we’ll facilitate the contracts.'”

The experience made them confident enough to finance a small hydro project and an anaerobic digester in Connecticut and solar projects in Massachusetts and New York.

Webster Bank had also never done clean energy financing before it got involved with a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell installation. The Bank walked Webster through the basics of clean energy, fuel cells, third-party ownership and kicked in 20 percent of its own money to buy down what Webster had to finance.

“Without the grant,” said Carolyn Morrison, Webster’s vice president for commercial banking, “We might not have financed the full value.”

Something for Everyone, Almost

The most versatile of the bank’s products is the Smart-E loan, a low-interest, all-purpose clean energy and energy efficiency loan for homeowners.

Across the state, 10 community banks and credit unions handle the loans. They can be used to purchase solar systems, install insulation and windows and even convert from oil to natural gas heat.

“Once we understood the nature of how it was going to work,” said Brian Skarda senior vice president for residential and consumer lending at Union Savings Bank, “it really didn’t take much convincing at all.”

For every dollar the Green Bank has put into the Smart-E loan program, banks like Union Savings have contributed $10, the most dramatic leverage rate in the Green Bank’s portfolio.

The Bank also started two residential solar-specific loans, one for purchases and one for leases. The lease loans have now migrated to private leasing companies only, such as SolarCity. One purchase loan program also migrated to the private sector, helping a Massachusetts startup called Sungage Financial survive.

After a terrible experience trying to find a loan for a solar system on her own home, Sungage founder Sara Ross took an idea to the Green Bank: base the loan on long-term electricity savings, not equity in the home itself. The pilot project produced 280 loans worth nearly $6 million. Sungage’s loan program has been scooped up by Digital Federal Credit Union and now operates in seven states.

Finding the Green Bank, Ross said was “like winning Megabucks.”

A Wider Success Story

Property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs provide loans for clean energy and efficiency upgrades that can be paid back through assessments on property tax bills. Connecticut’s C-PACE isn’t the first of these; 25 states already had something similar, but the Green Bank perfected it for commercial properties.

It’s designed so the energy savings more than cover the loan—which can be for 100 percent of the cost with payback over up to 20 years. If the property is sold, the remaining loan goes with it. The bank partnered with the clean energy financing group Hannon Armstrong to provide $100 million for the program.

But what the bank did more than anything was work out a compromise over who would get paid back first if the property owner defaulted on the loan, a problem for many PACE programs. So far, the bank has been successful in getting 124 of the Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, accounting for 95 percent of the state’s commercial and industrial space, to agree to use C-PACE.

More than 150 projects worth about $95 million have been financed through C-PACE.

“C-PACE really made us able to tackle big energy savings projects that would have been far outside our ability,” said Brett Wilderman of Forstone Capital, who said the savings are even higher than anticipated on the two projects his firm launched.

Providing a Model

The bank also finally found success in the hard-to-crack low-income market by partnering with PosiGen, a solar company created in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. In less than two years, it has installed more than 500 systems in Connecticut, impressing chief executive Tom Neyhart so much, he’s moved his northeast base to the state.

Many like Neyhart see the bank as a model for other states, only a few of which have any form of green bank, and as the backbone for a national green or infrastructure bank.

“The circumstances in each state will be different,” said Dan Reicher, the executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He considers Connecticut C-PACE among the top clean energy finance models, but while he called green banks a good model, he noted that needs, political leadership and utility regulations can differ radically from state to state.

But there are lessons for other states from Connecticut, Esty said. Those include a solid legal framework, a bipartisan policy backbone from government that doesn’t dictate all the specifics, attention for the concerns of all participants. But lesson number one, he said is, “Change is really hard to deliver even when the status quo plainly is not working. There will be opposition.”

Connecticut Green Bank Turns Five

Enabling Households and Businesses to reduce their Energy Burden while Growing Investment in the State’s Clean Energy Economy

Rocky Hill, CT (December 8, 2016) – The Connecticut Green Bank is marking five years of exceptional progress toward its goal of reducing the energy burden on households and businesses by mobilizing private investment into the state’s clean energy economy. Formed in 2011 by Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly, the Connecticut Green Bank was the first of its kind in the United States. Today, it is not only considered the standard-bearer of the green bank movement but is also serving as the template for a recent national green bank proposal in Congress.

Since its inception in 2011, the Connecticut Green Bank and its private investment partners have deployed over a $1 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state. Projects recorded through FY 2016 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy. As a result, the Connecticut Green Bank projects have helped create thousands of jobs in our communities, prevented the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitated rapid growth in the deployment of clean energy. All of which is contributing to a reduction of the energy burden on households and businesses in the state.

Through its many public-private partnerships, the Green Bank helps make clean energy more affordable and accessible to Connecticut households and businesses by making capital available for them to finance clean energy improvements on their properties. These improvements result in a lowering of their energy costs, which helps households better manage their budgets and businesses to increase their bottom-line.
To that end, the Connecticut Green Bank is demonstrating how the smart use of public funds can mobilize more private investment in the state’s economy. One such example is the rapid deployment of rooftop solar PV on homes throughout the state. While state incentives have dropped by more than 80 percent in the past 5 years, the deployment has increased by over 2500 percent as a result of providing households with more affordable and accessible financing solutions from local lenders. More and more homes are demanding solar PV because it lowers their energy costs while at the same time driving more private investment into the economy and creating more jobs in our communities.

“The Connecticut Green Bank is leading the green bank movement to accelerate private capital investment in clean energy deployment in Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security, and address climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Thank you to the Governor, Connecticut General Assembly, board of directors and staff, and our partners and stakeholders for mobilizing investment into our state’s clean energy economy.”

For more information on Connecticut Green Bank’s signature C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy), Smart-E programs and other clean energy initiatives, please follow the links provided or visit our website.

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:

Rudy Sturk

(860) 259-1154

 

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Meriden Enterprise Center Unveils New Solar Array

Major energy efficiency project complete with Green Bank financing

Meriden, CT (July 27, 2016) – The Meriden Enterprise Center at 290 Pratt Street has completed a comprehensive two-part, multi-year energy efficiency project with the unveiling of a new rooftop solar array. The 215 kW solar photovoltaic installation will produce over 250,000 kWh of energy annually.

The completion of the solar energy project is the final piece of an energy efficiency program financed using the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy). The upgrades include new windows, rooftop cooling units and a building management system which will benefit the building’s varied tenants. While many of the upgrade decisions appear to be obvious ways to achieve energy efficiency, the retrofitting of a building constructed in 1884 can be cost prohibitive without reliable financing.

C-PACE allows commercial and industrial property owners access to affordable, long-term financing for green energy. Building owners finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill and projects are developed so that energy savings exceed the cost of financing. The innovative financing results in lower energy costs and increases a building owner’s bottom line, while also modernizing buildings and making them more comfortable for tenants.

“This is one of the larger projects the Connecticut Green Bank has financed through the C-PACE program,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “With C-PACE, green energy projects of this scale are more accessible and affordable to building owners. By combining multiple energy efficiency measures with a solar project, the impact on the building owner’s bottom line has been maximized while this building has been transformed into a model for similar industrial sites statewide who are looking to reduce their energy costs. We are excited to partner with contractors like Lockheed Martin Energy and Greenskies Renewable Energy, who understand the value that comprehensive, multiple-measure green energy projects deliver to building owners.”

The Meriden Enterprise Center is expected to save over $4.7 million in energy costs over the 20-year financing term of the project. The payment schedule provides the Meriden Enterprise Center with more predictable energy costs, making business planning easier. The total cost of the project, financed by Connecticut Green Bank, is nearly $3 million.

The Enterprise Center is a 430,000 square foot industrial space with warehouse, light industrial, flex space and office space available. It is located in an enterprise zone.

“290 Pratt Street is a wonderful historic mill building with a dynamic mix of office and industrial tenants, but when we first acquired it, it could have been best described as a gas guzzler, which translated into very high utility and maintenance bills,” stated Steven Ancona, with the building ownership group. “By making energy efficiency investments, we significantly reduced utility and maintenance costs, allowing us to continue offering very competitive rents, lower our tenants’ operating costs, improve tenant comfort, and the aesthetics of the building. We have also significantly reduced the building’s carbon footprint.”

The energy efficiency upgrades at the Meriden Enterprise Center were done by Lockheed Martin Energy. Lockheed Martin Energy works with utilities, commercial businesses, government agencies and more on energy generation, distribution and transmission projects. The solar array was installed in a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC, a solar energy company and C-PACE contractor based in Middletown, Connecticut.

“This effort is a landmark project that demonstrates the value of cost-effective energy conservation upgrades for commercial developers,” said Bobbie Griffin, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Energy’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction business. “Working closely with Connecticut Green Bank and building ownership, we were able to identify and implement efficiency measures like programmable thermostats, new energy-efficient windows, high-efficiency HVAC systems and roof-mounted solar panels that will save thousands of kilowatt-hours of electricity, reduce gas consumption by 50 percent each year, and save millions of dollars in energy costs over the life of the improvements.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is currently working with owner-occupied manufacturers across the state through its Energy on the Line program. Eligible manufactures may qualify for up to $50,000 in grant money when using C-PACE to implement green energy upgrades. Please visit EnergyOnTheLine.com to learn more.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About the Meriden Enterprise Center

The Meriden Enterprise Center, located at 290 Pratt Street, Meriden, Connecticut is an historic mill building offering office and industrial spaces for rent. Tenants may be eligible for a variety of incentives due to the building’s location within an Enterprise Zone. For more information, please visit www.290pratt.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:

Dean Pagani
McDowell Jewett Communications
860-918-5075
[email protected]

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Town of Easton Unveils Solar Farm at Samuel Staples Elementary School

New System Will Generate 50 Percent of School’s Electricity

Rocky Hill, CT (November 12, 2015): The Town of Easton held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the commissioning of a new solar photovoltaic system at the Samuel Staples Elementary School today. The 301 kilowatt solar system is expected to generate half of the school’s electrical needs and is located on 1.4 acres in a field behind the school.

The Samuel Staples school building is designed like a large barn and the school leases some of the surrounding fields to local farmers to grow crops. Now, there will be one more crop – electricity – produced from the new solar farm.

Easton First Selectman Adam Dunsby was joined at the ceremony by State Representative John Shaban, Easton Board of Education Chairman Jeffrey Parker, Staples Principal Kimberly Fox-Santora, Easton Clean Energy Task Force Leader Cathy Alfandre, Northeast Energy Designs and Solutions LLC (NEEDS) Project Director John Dunster and Connecticut Green Bank EVP and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter. Students in two 5th Grade classes at the school also joined the celebration.

“It took the hard work of many people to make this solar project a reality,” said Mr. Dunsby. “I especially thank Easton’s Clean Energy Task Force who conceived of this project and stuck with it until it became reality.”

The system was installed with no up-front cost to the town and was financed, in part, under Connecticut Green Bank’s Solar Lease 2 program. The town will pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour of energy used under a Power Purchase Agreement, which should save the school hundreds of thousands of dollars over the 20-year term of the agreement. Funding will also be provided through the State’s Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) program, which will provide an income stream from The United Illuminating Company for power generated over the next 15 years, as well as a 30 percent federal tax credit.

The project enjoys the distinction of being the largest ground-mounted system under the Solar Lease program as well as the largest solar PV project on an elementary school supported by the Green Bank. It was developed by Bella Energy, based in Louisville, Colorado, and NEEDS, of Stamford, Connecticut.

“Connecticut Green Bank is creating innovative financial solutions – such as the CT Solar Lease used for this project – that make green energy a smart investment,” said Mr. Hunter. “We are working with schools and municipalities like Easton, as well as homeowners, businesses and institutions across the state, so they can affordably finance green projects with no up front costs. Together, we are leading the way to a stronger, greener future for Connecticut.”

Easton has a long history of supporting clean energy. In April 2006, it joined the original Clean Energy Communities program, now administered jointly by Connecticut Green Bank, The United Illuminating Company and Eversource. The Town has earned rewards from the Green Bank (or its predecessors) under that program, with which it installed a 5 kW solar PV system at Samuel Staples Elementary School and performed an energy audit at Helen Keller Middle School.

The town also conducted a successful Solarize ConnecticutSM campaign in 2013-2014 in partnership with the neighboring towns of Trumbull and Redding. Easton has joined the Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program administered by the Green Bank, which allows commercial property owners, multifamily properties with 5 or more units and non-profits to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.

“The Easton Clean Energy Task Force is excited that our rural, farming community now has a wonderful solar farm producing electricity for the school’s use, helping the town save money, and doing something good for the planet,” said Ms. Alfandre. “One of our Task Force members, Carroll Brooke, was the true visionary behind the project and worked incredibly hard for more than two years to bring it to fruition. He is proof that one person can make a difference, and we are lucky to have him in Easton.”

About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

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Contact:
Bob Wall
860-257-2354 (office)
203-581-0006 (cell)

Connecticut Green Bank Partners with Utilities, Contractors, and Municipalities to Compete in SunShot Prize to Reduce Solar Installation Times

U.S. Department of Energy Competition will award monetary prizes

Rocky Hill, CT (September 30, 2015) – The Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first green bank,will participate in the SunShot Prize: Race to 7-Day Solar, a national competition that aims to reduce the time it takes to “go solar” across the country. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, Connecticut has a chance to win up to $100,000 in the first round of competition and up to $3 million as a first place grand prize winner.

The Green Bank will partner withConnecticut’s two investor-owned utilities, Eversource Energy and UIL Holding Corporation’s electric subsidiary The United Illuminating Company, solar installers, and a number of municipalities to form the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Team. The team will takea strategic approach to identifying, creating, and implementing innovative practices that significantly reduce solar systeminterconnection times,while also striving to deploy10 megawatts of solar energy in participating Connecticut municipalities.

Currently, solar PV projects in Connecticut can take several months to complete. The team strives to reduce installation times by 75% and complete projects in less than 2 months.To achieve this goal, the Connecticut Permit to Plug-In Team will utilize a data-driven approach to quantify the impact ofeach team member’s role on solar installation timelines and gauge the success of strategies designed to fast-track project completion.

“This partnership between the utilities, solar contractors, municipalities and the Green Bank is a huge step forward for Connecticut,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We are excited to work together towards accelerating the adoption of residential solar PV in the state and significantly reducing the time it takes Connecticut homeowners to go solar.”

Throughout the competition, the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Team will work towards achieving several targets and has the chance to earn monetary prizes for its accomplishments.The team will aim to install 1 megawatt (MW) of solar PV in participating municipalities by January 2016 and 3 MW by March 2016. The Department of Energy will award up to $100,000 in “Change Prizes”for these achievements.  These Change Prizeswill support the Connecticut Team in implementing strategies for significantly reduced solar project completion and ultimately winningthe first place grand prize of $3 million.The awards will be divided between the members of the team.

The competition begins on September 22, 2015 and will conclude on March 17, 2017. The Connecticut Green Bank will provide updates on the competition throughout its duration.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more about the SunShot Initiative and the SunShot Prize competition and rules.

For More Information, Contact:

Craig Connolly
Connecticut Green Bank
860-257-2352

Greenworks Lending Announces Closing C-PACE Transactions Totaling $1 million

August 26, 2015

Today, Greenworks Lending – a financier of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loans – announced that it has closed four C-PACE transactions totaling $1 million. These represent the first C-PACE transactions in the State of Connecticut directly financed by a private lender and signal an important new chapter for the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program.

C-PACE is an innovative and affordable way for commercial, industrial and nonprofit building owners to pay for green energy upgrades. C-PACE financing covers 100% of project costs with no money down and is repaid as a long-term assessment on the property. C-PACE makes green energy upgrades accessible and allows owners to immediately increase cash flow and improve their building’s overall value.

The Connecticut Green Bank sponsored the enabling legislation for C-PACE to advance its mission of accelerating adoption of green energy through the creation of affordable financing mechanisms and thriving markets that attract and deploy private capital. Since then, the Green Bank has designed an award-winning C-PACE program and utilized its own capital to stimulate private investment in over $50M in energy upgrades throughout the state and over $80M in approved loans since its launch in 2013.

With a view to scale this market, the Green Bank released a “Standard Offer” in January 2015 that clarifies how private capital providers can directly finance building upgrades through C-PACE. The projects funded by Greenworks Lending represent the first C-PACE transactions in Connecticut to be financed through this process,with no investment or credit support provided by the Green Bank.

“The administrative and programmatic standardization across the CT market allows our company to move these transactions quickly and enables building owners to access the low-cost, long term capital they need to get projects completed,” said Greenworks Lending CEO, Jessica Bailey. Based in Stamford, Greenworks Lending was founded in March 2015 with the goal of scaling C-PACE financed energy upgrades around the country. “We founded this company to bring this innovative financing option to more building owners in more places. Closing the first privately financed deals in our home state of Connecticut is incredibly exciting and puts Connecticut once again in a leadership position.”

“The role of the Green Bank is to be catalytic in attracting private capital into our state. We are delighted that Greenworks Lending is working to grow the C-PACE market in Connecticut’s communities,” said CT Green Bank President Bryan Garcia. “We know that the entrance of market participants like Greenworks will allow C-PACE to scale more quickly in Connecticut and we are happy to see these first deals close, which lower the energy costs of these consumers while increasing their property value as a result of the energy improvements,”Garcia said.

According to Green Earth Energy President, Chris Scyocurka, the solar contractor on one of the projects, “the process of working with Greenworks through the C-PACE program was simple and effective. The partnership with Greenworks will allow us to offer an attractive financing option for our solar customers.”

Whaling City, a New London-based Ford, Lincoln, and Mazda dealer was one of the initial transactions financed through Greenworks Lending announced today. Romana Primus, the President of the car dealership stated “with no money-down financing through Greenworks Lending, going solar made economic sense for us. Greenworks has proven itself as a great partner in navigating the application process and providing financing. Our company has been family owned in CT for almost 60 years and we are pleased that we can benefit from this program. We look forward to decades of solar production financed through C-PACE.”

Mike Licamele of MSL Group, a Connecticut based commercial energy project developer, has this to say: “C-PACE is an incredibly attractive financing option for our customers. The program designed by the Green Bank is best-in-class and we are excited to close our first projects with Greenworks Lending. Having a financing partner with deep familiarity of how C-PACE works is incredibly valuable.”

“The goal of our C-PACE program is to increase the number of buildings that take advantage of this innovative program,” notes Genevieve Sherman, the Director of the C-PACE program for the Green Bank. “With over 35,000 commercial buildings in Connecticut representing billions of dollars in potential energy upgrades, the Standard Offer was designed to encourage capital providers to come into CT to help us grow the implementation of clean energy faster, with fewer public dollars. We are thrilled to see these first privately-financed deals closed.”

About Greenworks Lending

Greenworks Lending is an origination and financing company targeting cost saving, clean energy upgrades for commercial real estate using PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing.  Our mission is to improve the energy efficiency of our country by creating a new normal for financing energy upgrades in buildings. www.greenworkslending.com

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change.

 

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Contact: 

Gladys Rivera
Connecticut Green Bank
[email protected]
860-257-2351