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.
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.