Connecticut Green Bank Recognized for Connecticut Solar Lease Commercial Program

The CT Green Bank received a 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award for an innovative finance program that makes solar adoption possible for commercial and nonprofit organizations

Rocky Hill, CT (June 15, 2016) – The Connecticut Green Bank was honored as a recipient of a 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award for its CT Solar Lease Commercial program. This was one of six programs nationwide to win an award for outstanding accomplishments. The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a nonprofit coalition of public agencies working together to advance clean energy, established these biennial awards to highlight model programs and projects that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies and strengthened clean energy markets. The recipients of the awards were chosen by an independent panel of five distinguished judges, each with many years of experience in clean energy.

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program extends the Connecticut Green Bank’s record of innovation in financing clean energy development. It addresses the main barriers to solar adoption for “mid-market” commercial and nonprofit organizations. With small budgets, limited capital, and with a need for only a small to medium-sized solar system, the finance community has typically viewed small businesses and nonprofits as investments with limited potential return. An additional challenge for nonprofits is that they cannot make use of solar tax credits, because they are tax exempt.

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program combines two proven finance mechanisms to make solar accessible to this market segment: power purchase agreements (PPAs), in which a third-party finances the installation in exchange for tax credits and other project revenue at little to no cost to the property owner; and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), in which the solar installation is paid for through a lien on the property. By securing solar PPAs with C-PACE benefit assessment liens, private investors have confidence that the PPAs will be repaid. This unique financing structure successfully leverages limited state resources with private investment to go where the market won’t go, and demonstrates commercial viability for financing new solar customers. Under the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, multiple megawatts of solar have already been deployed across 15 nonprofit projects in Connecticut.

“This program shows impressive creativity in tackling the barriers to solar development,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon. “The CT Solar Lease Commercial program makes solar adoption viable for an entire class of customers who previously had no appealing way to finance their projects.”

“Thanks to the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, Connecticut Green Bank is making green energy financing more accessible and affordable to nonprofit organizations, while attracting private investment in mid-size solar projects,” said Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia. “The program enables these institutions to grow and thrive, while contributing to a better environment and a healthier community.”

CESA member organizations from across the U.S. submitted nominations for the leadership awards. Entries were judged based on public benefits and results, cost effectiveness, leadership and innovation, and replicability. The five judges who reviewed all the nominated programs were: Todd Foley (American Council on Renewable Energy); Jenny Heeter (National Renewable Energy Laboratory); Brian Keane (SmartPower); Heather Rhoads-Weaver (eFormative Options); and Bill Ritter (Center for the New Energy Economy).

A case study with more information about the CT Solar Lease Commercial program is available on CESA’s website at www.cesa.org/projects/state-leadership-in-clean-energy/2016.

CESA will be hosting upcoming webinar presentation on this program with guest speakers from the Connecticut Green Bank. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, July 19 from 2-3:30 pm ET. For more information on this free webinar and to register, visit www.cesa.org/projects/state-leadership-in-clean-energy/2016.

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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 Clean Energy States Alliance

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA members—mostly state agencies—include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country. CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the positions and achievements of its members. For more information, visit www.cesa.org.

 

Construction near Completion for Solar Exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center

Students work on exhibit for residents and business owners to learn more about solar energy

North Haven, CT (March 22, 2016) – Work is nearly completed on a new solar energy exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven.  The exhibit, being installed with the help of students from E.C. Goodwin Technical High School and Platt Technical High School, will allow children and adults to learn about the benefits of solar.

The Energize Connecticut Center is a place where adults and children may experience hands-on learning of energy efficiency and renewable energy concepts and solutions.  The facility is a museum and a resource center, staffed by individuals who help Connecticut residents and business owners make smart energy choices. The Energize Connecticut Center is part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, an effort of the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, Eversource, The United Illuminating Company (UI), the Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) and The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG).

The new solar exhibit educates people and businesses on the benefits of using solar energy.  It also teaches people how the technology works, describes the different steps in the process of going solar, and explains different ways to pay for solar such as different types of available financing structures. The exhibit was funded by the Connecticut Green Bank with the goal of educating Connecticut citizens and making the benefits of green energy clear.

The solar panels at the exhibit are being installed by students from the Connecticut Technical High School System. The school system trains students on how to properly install solar panels, preparing them for careers in the solar industry and equipping them with mastery of other technical skills. A recent survey from the nonprofit research group The Solar Foundation projects that solar jobs in Connecticut will grow by 6.8% in 2016, underscoring the importance of preparing students to work in this rapidly growing industry.

“We are very excited about the new solar exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in partnership with The United Illuminating Company, Eversource and the Connecticut Technical High School System,” says Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “As residents and businesses witness more and more solar energy being deployed in their communities, interest in more and more renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will continue to rise. The Energize Connecticut Center’s solar exhibit not only offers a fun way to learn about solar PV technology but also underscores how simple the process of going solar actually is. I’m confident the Energize Connecticut Center’s solar experience will inspire more people to take control of their own energy use. Because the truth is, when more people in Connecticut make the decision to go solar, we grow businesses, we create jobs and we help people thrive.”

The Green Bank, which administers the Residential Solar Investment Program, an incentive program for homeowners who are going solar, reports that more than 17,000 homeowners in the state have already made the decision to go solar. The Green Bank offers financing programs for homeowners and business owners that make solar and other energy improvements more accessible and affordable.

Visitors are welcome to see the new exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center, located in North Haven, Connecticut at 122 Universal Drive North. The Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

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.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at www.EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE

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