Rep. Themis Klarides Appoints CBIA Counsel Eric Brown to Serve on the Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors

Senior Counsel at CBIA brings environmental, business, and policy background to BOD

 

Rocky Hill, CT (Oct. 10) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce Representative Themis Klarides’ appointment of Eric Brown to its Board of Directors. Brown is senior counsel at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), a position he has held since 1994.

“The Connecticut Green Bank has demonstrated its commitment to using limited public funds to attract and mobilize private investment in clean energy, energy efficiency and Connecticut’s economy,” states Eric Brown, Senior Counsel at CBIA.  “I am looking forward to serving on the Board of Directors to offer my perspective on accelerating private investment that creates jobs and makes Connecticut more economically competitive with respect to energy costs.”

At CBIA, Brown’s primary responsibilities include developing policy positions on energy, environment, land use, and manufacturing issues and advocating those positions before regulatory agencies and the state legislature. He also directs E2: CBIA’s Energy & Environment Council, a group of approximately 200 Connecticut companies that assist in developing and advocating public policy positions on environmental and energy issues. He is also the Chair of the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank.

“As the Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank, I am pleased that Representative Klarides has appointed Eric to the Board of Directors,” said Catherine Smith, Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Eric’s extensive experience in energy and environmental policy and advocacy for business and private investment make him a valuable addition to our board.”

Before CBIA, Brown served as a senior environmental analyst with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He also worked as an environmental specialist in private practice and worked at the state legislature as well.

Brown has been appointed by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (114th General Assembly District). “Eric’s leadership in the state on energy and environmental policy for many years on behalf of the business community ensures that he has his finger on the pulse of state energy investments and how they affect Connecticut businesses. His knowledge will add new depth to the mission of the Green Bank to attract and leverage private investment, reduce the State’s reliance on public funds and develop long term sustainable financing solutions that create local jobs,” said Klarides.

Brown holds a B.S. in geology from the University of Rhode Island, a M.S. in geophysics from Boston College and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.

Brown replaces outgoing board member Norma Glover.

 

 

 

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Second C-PACE Project for Waterbury Business Owner Creates Savings & Energy Efficiency

New Gas Fueled Heating System to Save Money

 

(Oct. 3, 2017 – Waterbury, CT) – For Waterbury property owner Michael Batista, the success of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program is worth repeating. For the second time in two years he has accessed C-PACE funding to improve energy efficiency at one of his mixed-use properties in the state’s fifth largest city.

Batista’s two C-PACE financed projects show that the program, which is often used to help manufacturers and larger commercial properties, can benefit a wide range of properties and their owners, who are seeking ways to improve energy efficiency, save money on energy costs, and reduce environmental impacts. Both projects were completed by M.J. Fahy & Sons Inc., a plumbing and heating contractor located in Waterbury.

Most recently, Batista used the C-PACE program to finance the energy improvements at his property at 1023 West Main St. in Waterbury. The property was converted from one that relied on an outdated oil burner to a system featuring seven individual gas fueled furnaces that more efficiently services four residential units and two commercial units. Over the duration of his 12-year loan, it is estimated the new system will save Batista and his tenants as much as $84,000 in energy costs.

“I am a big proponent of the C-PACE program as a smart, affordable way to finance energy efficiency projects,” Batista said. “This program allows me to make important energy improvements to my properties that benefit tenants and residents, and save money. My earlier experience using C-PACE for a similar project at another location made this decision easy.”

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, that is helping commercial and industrial property owners access affordable, long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. By enabling building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and clean energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill, comprehensive energy improvements – that would otherwise be difficult to afford – are made possible.

Batista previously used C-PACE financing to pay for an oil-to-gas burner conversion at a second mixed-use property in Waterbury. In that case, he expects to reduce fuel costs by $56,000 over the next 15 years.

“We are very pleased with the reception the C-PACE program has received from the business community in our state,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Programs at the Green Bank. “Regardless of size, business type, and location, our projects have a significant impact on energy efficiency and put building owners back in control of their energy costs. These two mixed-use properties show that C-PACE works for properties of all types, across multiple sectors, making it an important tool for our state’s communities”

To learn more about C-PACE, please visit CPACE.com.

 

 

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Connecticut Green Bank and Onyx Renewable Partners Announce Commercial Solar Funding Agreement

Power Purchase Agreements to deploy 15-20+ MW of commercial solar projects in Connecticut

 

Rocky Hill, CT and New York, NY (Sept. 12) – The Connecticut Green Bank and Onyx Renewable Partners L.P. (“Onyx”) are excited to announce the Green Bank Solar PPA (power purchase agreement), a joint program that will provide funding for 15-20+ megawatts of commercial-scale solar projects in Connecticut.

Onyx was selected by the Green Bank through a competitive process, which demonstrated Onyx’s ability to provide the flexibility and cost of capital necessary to fund a growing portfolio of commercial-scale projects within Connecticut. Under this partnership, Onyx will leverage its existing fund structure and relationships with Credit Suisse and future tax equity partners to capitalize and own solar photovoltaic projects originated by the Green Bank and local solar developers. This new Connecticut-specific allocation within Onyx’s larger commercial solar portfolio will build upon the success of the Green Bank’s Solar Lease 2 fund, which reached capacity earlier in 2017.

The new Green Bank Solar PPA fund will provide power purchase agreements to a broad range of property owners by making use of Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program to allow unrated solar customers, including commercial, industrial, and non-profit property owners, to access financing alongside state agencies, housing authorities, municipalities, schools, and rated corporations. This innovative structure was pioneered under the Green Bank’s Solar Lease 2 program and has successfully opened the solar PPA market to customers traditionally excluded from solar financing.

“The Connecticut Green Bank’s partnership with Onyx provides our local installers with easy access to affordable capital so that their customers can finance solar PV projects that save money from day one,” stated Catherine Smith, Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).  “Via this initiative, the Green Bank is providing our local installers with a pathway to developing projects that can help accelerate their business growth both in Connecticut and scale throughout the region.”

The first two projects under this program are nearing completion and will provide significant savings to their hosts.

First, a 600+ kW rooftop solar system was installed at the Reed Intermediate School in Newtown by Direct Energy, in partnership with the Newtown Sustainability Commission. The long-term savings to Newtown are projected to be over $1.6 million over the 25-year term of the PPA.

“Installing the solar system on the school provides many opportunities for us,” said Frederick Hurley, Director of Public Works for the Town of Newtown. “We can show students, parents, and staff how the technology works, and it will provide significant savings to the town and its residents. Plus, we are using clean energy, which is good for the environment and future generations.”

Additionally, the Town of West Hartford will benefit from the largest solar project the Green Bank has helped develop to date when a 2.4 MW ground mount solar array at the Barrette Farm in Thompson comes online. The project is being installed by C-TEC Solar. The state’s Virtual Net Metering (VNM) program allows West Hartford to take advantage of the energy generated, with projected savings approaching $1.3 million over the term.

“We are excited to be part of the Green Bank’s largest solar project to date, and a pioneer in the state’s VNM program,” said Catherine Diviney, Energy Specialist for the Town of West Hartford. “VNM is a valuable addition to the extensive on-site generation that we currently have on 11 buildings. VNM allows us to both support clean energy and realize some financial savings on the electricity bills at our schools and town facilities. It’s a green win-win for everyone.”

Onyx is a leader in the development and finance of commercial, industrial, and small-scale utility solar projects in North America and brings significant experience in solar project development and financing. Backed by funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, and operating under an existing partnership with Credit Suisse, Onyx’s established capabilities represent a strong development and financing solution for Connecticut’s commercial-scale solar sector. Onyx provides a vertically integrated approach with strong supply chain relationships, facilitating procurement of lower cost solar equipment, employs a seasoned team of design, engineering, construction and project management experts, and offers full-service capabilities for long-term asset management.

“The Green Bank and Onyx are proud of this mutually rewarding partnership under which Connecticut will benefit greatly from Onyx’s depth of commercial solar development and financing expertise. In turn, Onyx will be able to expand its solar portfolio in the state and gain first-hand experience using C-PACE as a security mechanism under a PPA fund structure, which we hope can be replicated elsewhere,” said Bert Hunter, Executive Vice-President & Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank.

“Onyx is dedicated to bringing more sustainable energy solutions to the State of Connecticut through our partnership with Green Bank.  Utilizing our wealth of experience and relationships in the industry, we will work with, and invest in local developers to promote economic development and growth in their communities,” said Ja Kao, President of Onyx. 

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. 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. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” nomination. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About Onyx Renewable Partners

Onyx is a Blackstone portfolio company specializing in renewable energy development and finance. Onyx is focused on greenfield development and M&A opportunities in the North American solar and wind sectors. Onyx is also continuously evaluating the market to partner with experienced teams to pursue opportunities employing other renewable power technologies. For more information about Onyx, please visit www.onyxrenewables.com.

 

 

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Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Partners with GE, Sunlight Solar Energy and Connecticut Green Bank to install Solar Systems for Three Campuses in Fall 2017

Other campuses to go solar in the next two years

(September 8, 2017)  – The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) has partnered with Current powered by GE, SunLight Solar Energy and CT Green Bank to install solar energy systems at three campuses in order to reduce energy consumption and decrease operating expenses. Construction is scheduled to begin at Manchester and Middlesex Community Colleges as well as Southern CT State University in late fall with the goal of extending to other campuses including Central, Housatonic, Asnuntuck, Quinebaug, Tunxis and Western in the next two years. The solar energy initiative is funded entirely with private capital sourced by Connecticut Green Bank and once fully implemented is estimated to save CSCU more than $10 million within the first 20 years.

“Anything we can do to make our system and our planet more viable and sustainable in the future is a step we’re willing to take,” said CSCU President Ojakian. “I want to sincerely thank all our partners who worked hard to make this important project possible.”

“The CSCU has shown tremendous leadership with this initiative,” commented Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia. “The Connecticut Green Bank is thrilled to be supporting CSCU’s efforts to go green. By not only installing solar energy systems across multiple campuses at once but using private capital to finance the projects, CSCU will be saving significant dollars for the State. And with a high-quality partner like GE overseeing the installations, there is little question these systems will perform and create a win-win-win for all involved.”

“This project is a great representation of the potential of solar generation,” said Amol Kapur, Current by GE’s business development manager for the CSCU portfolio, “CSCU is demonstrating the value of bringing together engineering, technology and finance to support both business and sustainability goals.”

 

About Current, powered by GE:

Current is the digital engine for intelligent environments. A first-of-its-kind startup within the walls of GE (NYSE: GE), Current blends advanced energy technologies like LED and solar with networked sensors and software to make commercial buildings and industrial facilities more energy efficient & productive. Backed by the power of Predix*, GE’s platform for the Industrial Internet, and a broad ecosystem of technology partners, Current is helping businesses and cities unlock hidden value and realize the potential of their environments. www.currentbyge.com

 

About GE:

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com.

 

 

 

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CURE Innovation Commons to save energy costs through C-PACE program

Groton, CT (August 14, 2017) –  Using the Connecticut Green Bank’s innovative Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, CURE Innovation Commons (“The Commons”) has financed energy improvements that will save the laboratory incubator more than $1.7 million in energy costs over the 17-year life of the loan term.

The project at The Commons is a perfect example of how support from Connecticut Green Bank can advance green energy goals and expand our economy by investing in the jobs and technologies of the future.

“This green energy project is very important to us from a bottom line perspective, because of the long-term cost savings, but it is also vital in terms of our role in the community,” said Susan Froshauer PhD, President and CEO of CURE. “We are in the business of science and research, and we strive to lead by example when it comes to using the latest technology to improve the quality of life for those who work at our facilities and our neighbors in Groton.”

The Commons is one of Connecticut’s newest science and technology incubators for entrepreneurs, professionals, scientists, start-ups and growing companies to develop ideas and build businesses in a collaborative community setting. In addition to funds provided for renovations by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), The Commons used C-PACE to fund energy efficiency upgrades including the installation of new HVAC equipment and a high efficiency generator.

“We are committed to making green energy accessible to businesses throughout the state,” said Mackey Dykes, vice president of commercial, industrial and institutional programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE allows nonprofit, commercial and industrial property owners to access financing for green energy projects and to pay off projects through a property assessment. Financial innovations like these make projects possible at properties like The Commons, where new ideas and innovations in science and technology are being incubated – creating an opportunity for new jobs and economic growth in the community.”

Since its creation in 2011, the Connecticut Green Bank has deployed more than $1 billion in capital to fund green energy projects in Connecticut. This investment helps Connecticut create jobs, meet carbon reduction goals and improve the state’s energy security.

 

 

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Resources for State Residents to Navigate Solar Questions

GoSolarCT.com, DCP’s Solar Panel Buyer’s Guide offer unbiased input

Rocky Hill, CT (August 2, 2017) – As solar installations in Connecticut continue to increase, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), and the Connecticut Green Bank want to remind residents that informational resources exist to help guide them through the process of adding solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to their homes.  Two suggested resources are GoSolarCT.com and DCP’s Solar Panel Buyer’s Guide.

As of July 2017, nearly 25,000 state residences have installed solar, producing more than 175 MW of clean, renewable power. Through GoSolarCT, the Connecticut Green Bank seeks to make information on the solar process available in one location for homeowners in the state.

“The GoSolarCT website helps Connecticut residents understand the costs, installation, and upkeep of solar projects in one location,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This website is an educational outreach tool for Connecticut residents wanting to convert to solar energy. This project and others that educate Connecticut residents on solar installation and renewable energy sources benefits the state and the entire region.”

“There are a lot of different aspects to going solar,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We want to make sure consumers know who they’ll be interacting with, what credentials those professionals need to have, and what questions they should ask throughout the process. Going solar, like any home improvement related project, is a big investment, and it’s important that consumers do their research before making a commitment.”

GoSolarCT shares pertinent information in an easy, interactive way for Connecticut homeowners and includes a glossary of terms, a potential energy savings calculator and a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

The GoSolarCT website identifies four key areas for people considering installing solar products:

  • How solar works
  • Selecting a contractor and various financing options
  • The installation process
  • Ongoing maintenance

“I’m delighted the Connecticut Green Bank and DCP are assisting customers with these guidance resources,” stated Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz. “My office has handled occasional inquiries from customers looking into solar, but are struggling with weighing financing options, choosing a contractor, and understanding savings estimates. It is important that customers feel that they have made a well-informed choice with regard to this major decision, and these resources should make the process both reassuring and hopefully exciting. I commend the Connecticut Green Bank and DCP and look forward to continuing to work in partnership with them to promote solar growth and understanding.” 

 

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.

For more information, contact: Rudy Sturk, Senior Associate, Marketing, Connecticut Green Bank, at (860) 259-1154 or [email protected].

 

About the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)

The Department of Consumer Protection’s mission is to ensure a fair and equitable marketplace, safe products and services for consumers in the industries that we license, regulate and enforce. The Department has seven divisions with their own areas of expertise: Drug Control, Foods and Standards, Investigations, Gaming, Licensing, Liquor Control, Occupational and Professional Licensing, and Trade Practices. The Department also administers 18 professional Boards, Councils and Commissions.

For more information, contact: Lora Rae Anderson, Director of Communications, Department of Consumer Protection, at (860) 713-6019 or [email protected].

 

About the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC)

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) serves as a strong independent voice for Connecticut’s public utility and telecommunications consumers through advocacy and customer education. The OCC is authorized to participate on behalf of consumers in all administrative and judicial forums and in any matters in which the interests of consumers with respect to public utility matters may be involved.

For more information, contact:  Joseph A. Rosenthal, Principal Attorney, Office of Consumer Counsel, at 860-827-2906 or [email protected].

 

 

 

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Financing Clean Energy in Affordable Housing (webinar recording)

Over the past several years, Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with the affordable housing sector and private capital providers to provide critical education, financing, technical assistance and resources that address barriers to deployment of clean energy projects in affordable housing properties. In March 2017, Connecticut Green Bank strengthened its commitment to the state’s low-to-moderate income residents by welcoming Betsy Crum, a veteran professional in affordable housing development and finance, to its board of directors.

The Green Bank Network held a webinar on the approaches the Connecticut Green Bank is taking to increase financing for clean energy in affordable housing properties and how Crum’s appointment to the Board will push the bank even further in its efforts.

The presenters were:

  • Betsy Crum, Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development and Member, Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors
  • Kerry E. O’Neill, Vice President of Residential Programs at Connecticut Green Bank
  • Kim Stevenson, Associate Director, Multifamily Housing at Connecticut Green Bank

The recording of the webinar is below.

 

 

 

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