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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Ferazzoli Imports of New England (Galleria Stone) Adds Solar through C-PACE

Galleria Stone will reduce operating expenses and increase efficiency

 

Middletown, CT (August 1, 2017) – Ferazzoli Imports of New England, Inc., which conducts business as Galleria Stone, an importer, distributor and fabricator of tile and natural stone, is the most recent business to reduce their energy burden by installing a renewable energy source on their building through Connecticut Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), an innovative program that helps property owners access affordable, long-term financing for smart energy upgrades to their buildings.

Northeast Smart Energy LLC of Hartford will install a 125 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to the roof of the Galleria Design Center, located at 234 Middle Street in Middletown. The estimated annual energy cost savings exceeds $37,000.

“The C-PACE financing program is the smartest long-term solution for achieving our clean energy demands,” said Jerry Martorelli, owner of Galleria Design Center. “With C-PACE, we are able to reduce operation expenses and increase efficiency, all while making a measurable impact on the environment and surrounding community.”

Through C-PACE, a building owner can pay for green energy improvements over terms up to 25 years through a voluntary benefit assessment on their property tax bill. Building owners can secure long-term, low-interest capital to fund these energy improvements, with no up-front costs required. The program is structured so that the energy savings offset the benefit assessment – meaning positive cash flow for the business – and includes a technical review process that leaves building owners feeling confident in the predicted energy savings of their project.

This project is part of Connecticut Green Bank’s Energy on the Line program, funded through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund. Energy on the Line provides supplemental funds to eligible manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the C-PACE program.

“Manufacturers, who feel the burden of energy costs more than anyone, can realize substantial benefits from green energy projects,” said Mackey Dykes, vice president of commercial, industrial and institutional programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE is a perfect fit for manufacturers, allowing them to take control of their energy costs and realize predictable positive cashflow. The solar project at Ferazzoli Imports is an excellent example of how green energy and C-PACE can improve a manufacture’s bottom line.”

For more information on Galleria Stone, please visit www.galleriastone.com, and for more information the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About Ferazzoli Imports

Ferazzoli Imports of New England Inc., now doing business as Galleria Stone, was incorporated in 1988 as an importer, distributor and fabricator of tile and natural stone. Originally located in North Haven, Connecticut, Galleria Stone relocated its corporate headquarters in June 2002 to the 100,000 square foot Galleria Design Center in Middletown, CT. The Galleria Design Center includes an expansive 30,000 square foot showroom, indoor natural stone gallery and a state-of-the-art fabrication plant that helps Galleria Stone continue the tradition of elegance, craftsmanship and efficiency for which it is best known.

 

About Northeast Smart Energy

Northeast Smart Energy was established in May of 2007 by its founders whose vision is rooted in their love for our planet. Northeast Smart Energy’s primary focus is to provide people with renewable and cost effective energy solutions that reduce our dependence on polluting sources of energy. Northeast Smart Energy is ready to help you do your part by reducing your environmental impact and leaving our planet in a condition of which our children would be proud.

 

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Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE Program Reaches $100 Million Milestone

State’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program continues to be an economic development tool for Connecticut businesses

 

Rocky Hill, CT (July 24, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced its C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program has reached the milestone of $100 million in total closed project financing. The solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy efficiency projects, which vary in size and scope, are saving more than $9.29 million annually in energy costs for nearly 170 building owners across multiple sectors.

The Green Bank, which administers the C-PACE program, seeks to make green energy more accessible and affordable to commercial and industrial property owners by providing no money down long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. C-PACE enables building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses can achieve lower energy costs. 

Reaching $100 million in closed project financing positions Connecticut’s program as a national leader. According to market data from PACENation, an industry group promoting Property Assessed Clean Energy, California is the only state to have closed a larger total sum of project financing for commercial PACE projects.

“Connecticut’s Green Bank has really been the national leader for C-PACE,” said David Gabrielson, the Executive Director of PACENation, the national non-profit that supports development of PACE programs nationwide. “The way they administer their program has really served as a great example for other program administrators throughout the U.S., and we congratulate the entire Green Bank team on this impressive milestone.”

The project that propelled the Green Bank over this milestone will be installed at Farmington Sports Arena (FSA). FSA is a 130,000-square foot modern indoor sports facility that is home to four indoor and three outdoor artificial turf fields as well as four natural grass outdoor fields. The project, which will be installed by 64 Solar, consists of two solar PV systems (170 kW total).

Since its inception in 2011, 166 C-PACE projects have been closed in 69 of the 128 municipalities that have opted-into the program. C-PACE funds have been used in manufacturing facilities, non-profits, houses of worship, retail establishments, office buildings, and other business entities.  The projects consist of solar installations, new boilers, energy efficiency lighting measures, HVAC systems, and other energy improvements that help building owners to take control of their energy costs. Connecticut’s C-PACE program maintains an open market approach, allowing private capital providers to finance projects for building owners, and, in 2015, the Green Bank reached an agreement that provided it access to up to $100 million in private funding for C-PACE projects. Today, nearly 70% of the funding in the program consists of private capital.

“The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program reaching the $100 million in closed project financing milestone is significant,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “This achievement shows our state’s continued leadership in combating climate change while simultaneously supporting the business and non-profit sectors.”

This milestone was achieved through the efforts of many key stakeholders.

“The Connecticut Green Bank is a leader in the green energy movement, but the rapid growth of C-PACE wouldn’t be possible without the support of our contractors, capital providers, municipal officials, and other stakeholders who have contributed to the C-PACE movement,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “There is still significant potential for energy improvements for Connecticut businesses and non-profits, and we look forward to bringing cleaner and cheaper energy to more building owners across the state.”

The Connecticut Green Bank’s success, and that of the C-PACE program, has led to the Green Bank being used as a model for other states.

 

 

 

 

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Manchester Housing Authority begins $2.7 million energy efficiency and solar PV project

Project includes one of the first and largest ground mounted solar-PV systems at a state housing authority

 

Manchester, CT (June 26, 2017) – The Housing Authority of the Town of Manchester announces the completion of a 125 kW ground mount solar photovoltaic (PV) system that produces electricity from the sun at Westhill Garden apartments. This is part of a $2.7 million project that improves the energy efficiency and reduces utility costs for 275 units of the Housing Authority’s affordable senior housing portfolio.  

Manchester Housing Authority was established in 1958 and includes 455 total housing units across four sites.

This solar PV system is the largest ground mounted system serving a housing authority in the state of Connecticut, and among the first at a state housing authority. The electricity generated will serve 199 of the complex’s apartments, as well as the housing authority office. The system is expected to produce energy savings of approximately $25,000 per year and provide additional revenue to the Housing Authority under a long-term Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) contract between the Housing Authority and Eversource, which should generate approximately $12,800 annually for 15 years.

Under an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc. installed a variety of energy conservation measures for this project, including heating systems upgrades; heat source conversions (from electric to gas); water-conservation measures (such as low flow showerheads and faucet aerators); and electrical upgrades such as LED lighting. The HUD EPC program provides incentives to public housing authorities across the country to implement energy and water savings improvements to their housing units. By leveraging energy performance contracting, this cost-effective solution pays for infrastructure upgrades with guaranteed energy savings over time.

The entire $2.7 million energy upgrade project was funded with private capital using bonds arranged by the boutique investment bank Crews & Associates, including $1.3 million from the Housing Development Fund (HDF), a Stamford-based Community Development Financial Institution. HDF’s funds for the project came from a program related investment funded by the MacArthur Foundation and secured by the Connecticut Green Bank. 

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Connecticut joins other states to uphold Paris Climate Agreement

On June 2, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that Connecticut will join with other states to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and the state would join the United States Climate Alliance. The alliance was formed by the governors of California, New York and Washington and is “committed to taking aggressive action on climate change.”  Malloy said that Connecticut is a “national leader in combating climate change and we have no plans of slowing down our efforts.” 

As Eyewitness News 30 reported, Connecticut has been “out in front on clean energy, starting the first in the nation Green Bank,” which “relies heavily on private capital with little tax payer money.”  

To watch the full Eyewitness News segment, please click here.

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Connecticut Green Bank Offering New Low Rate for Energy Upgrade Loans

0.99% Financing Available on Bundled Projects or Special Single Measure Offers

 

Rocky Hill (May 9, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank, in association with Energize CT, select local lenders, and contractors, is offering an extraordinarily low rate of 0.99% on home energy improvement loans. The new low rate is being offered as part of the Smart-E Bundle program, which is available when homeowners choose to finance two or more qualifying energy efficiency projects. The rate is also extended to current special single measure promotions such as natural gas conversion and heat pump installations. By bringing the rate down to 0.99%, the Green Bank is encouraging Connecticut residents to both do and save more with multiple energy related home improvements.

There are four types of qualifying bundles that offer popular pairings, including solar PV, high efficiency HVAC improvements, insulation upgrades, and Home Energy Solutions core services. The low interest financing is being offered, in most cases, with no money down on loans spanning 5, 7 or 10 years.

Due to programs like Smart-E, solar energy is helping to power over 23,000 homes in Connecticut. Now with the market seeing a 70% decrease in average project cost, the new lower rate presents one of the best opportunities in years for homeowners who are considering the addition of solar PV to their home.

“Switching to solar just makes good economic sense and Connecticut homeowners are taking advantage of this trend,” said Kerry O’Neill, Vice President, Residential Programs, for Connecticut Green Bank. “Nearly 80% of the homes in this state that have gone solar installed their systems in the last three years.”

The Smart-E Bundle program and promotions on heat pump technologies offer a great opportunity for homeowners to enjoy savings for years to come and potentially increase their property value. General eligibility qualifications for access to Smart-E financing include:

  • Residential property must be located in Connecticut
  • The property must be owner-occupied
  • The property must be a 1 to 4 unit residential building and condominiums must be individually metered

For more information, contact participating contractors or lenders of the Connecticut Green Bank Smart-E program, which can be found here: http://ctgreenbank.com/programs/smart-e-loans/

 

 

 

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New England Hydropower Energizes First Archimedes Screw Turbine site in U. S.

Financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, the green, fish friendly project to provide renewable electricity to the City of Meriden, CT

 

MERIDEN, CT (April 27, 2017) — New England Hydropower Company, LLC (NEHC) announced today that it has energized the first Archimedes Screw Turbine generation facility in the United States at the Hanover Pond project in Meriden, Connecticut. The facility, financed with a combination of public and private capital via the first official “Green Bond” issued by the Connecticut Green Bank (Green Bank), is expected to generate 920,000 kWh of electricity annually to Meriden under a long-term agreement with the City.

NEHC was given approval to energize to the Eversource distribution system in the first quarter of 2017. This follows electrical interface and controls integration, and a successful “witness” test establishing the project’s ability to provide power to the grid.

The Power Purchase Agreement with Meriden takes advantage of Connecticut’s virtual net metering regulations. As a qualified Class I renewable energy producer, the project participates in Connecticut’s Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit Program (ZREC). These two state programs, when taken together with the Green Bank’s innovative use of federally supported New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to dramatically reduce the project’s capital costs, are now allowing the City of Meriden to benefit from lower cost energy while at the same time going green.

The modern AST integrates automated electronic monitoring, controls, and safety systems. It is a proven technology with over 100 generating systems in Europe and the UK derived in concept from the ancient world.

A primary environmental advantage of the run-of-river system is that it provides safe downstream fish passage in the slow rotating screw turbine with limited turbulence at the exit. Working with state and federal natural resource agencies, NEHC is conducting migratory and resident fish studies at the adjacent fish passage at Hanover Pond to augment highly successful studies in the UK.

“Our goal from the inception of the company,” said Michael Kerr, CEO and Founder, “was that success at Hanover Pond would lead the way to market acceptance of the Archimedes Screw Turbine technology in the U.S.” The company researched thousands of legacy dams from the industrial revolution to determine ownership, assess technical, regulatory and commercial viability.

“We believed from the outset that our work with regulatory agencies to understand their requirements and work toward streamlining our processes,” continued Kerr, “would be essential to improving our pathway to developing green energy in the small-scale hydro sector.”

Following the permitting process, NEHC mobilized for construction at the site in September 2016, and the sluiceway, powerhouse and Archimedes screw trough were all completed to accept machinery in December 2016 for operation in April 2017.

“When we started this project, we embarked on a journey with many challenges. This was not a large transaction by any of the typical measures – project cost, kilowatts, the footprint of the project – but its significance as an innovative financing solution can’t be overstated,” said Bert Hunter, EVP & Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Green Bank. “Transformational projects like this hydropower initiative at Hanover Pond in Meriden require collaboration among many partners, including NEHC as developer and the team from Bank of America who led the bond structuring and purchase on their end.’

“Now that we’ve done this first one,” Hunter continued, “the Green Bank looks forward to future success in financing the development of more of Connecticut’s small-scale hydro resources.”

 

About NEHC: NEHC was formed in 2011 to develop, operate and own small-scale Archimedes Screw Turbine-based electric generation projects to support renewable, state and federal green energy objectives. The company provides the U.S. renewable energy market with a proven, environmentally sound, fish-friendly technology. For more information, please visit: www.nehydropower.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. For more information, please visit: www.ctgreenbank.com

 

 

 

Media contacts:

NEHC

Chris Conover

860-729-9767

[email protected]

 

Connecticut Green Bank

Rudy Sturk

[email protected]

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GRID Alternatives Launches Multifamily Affordable Solar Program in Connecticut

Collaboration with Connecticut Green Bank will open up solar, reduce energy costs for hundreds of multifamily buildings serving low-income families.

Solar panels are installed by GRID Alternatives at Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk.

April 27, 2017GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, today announced expansion of its multifamily affordable solar program into the Connecticut market. The program helps affordable housing owners and operators reduce energy costs with solar, providing no-cost technical assistance, as well as turnkey solar design and installation services.

The expansion was announced today at a live solar installation on the 57-unit Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk. The project, financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, is one of the first of its kind in the state, and will provide over $360,000 in lifetime energy cost savings for affordable housing provider New Neighborhoods Inc. It also includes energy efficiency education for residents and hands-on solar workforce training for local job trainees and community college students.

Fair Street Apartments is part of a portfolio that GRID evaluated under its technical assistance program, which is provided at no cost through a grant from The JPB Foundation. Nearly 300 multifamily affordable housing buildings in the Connecticut

Volunteers from the Connecticut Green Bank helped install solar panels at the Norwalk site earlier this week.

Housing Finance Authority’s State-Sponsored Housing Portfolio have been evaluated for their solar potential.

The Connecticut Green Bank, which aims to accelerate investment in clean energy deployment in the state, will review the properties deemed suitable for solar and provide interested properties with financing for installation by GRID Alternatives or another qualified solar installer. The offering will expand solar deployment on Connecticut’s multifamily affordable housing stock, lowering operating costs while helping the state meet its goal of 27 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“Solar can make a huge financial difference for affordable housing owners, saving them money that can be applied to building upkeep and tenant services, and directly reducing rents in some cases,” said Peter Mandelstam, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Tri-State, which serves New York, New Jersey and now Connecticut. “We are excited to partner with Connecticut in opening up solar access for this market.”

“By reducing the energy burden on multifamily affordable properties, we are ensuring inclusive prosperity in Connecticut’s clean energy economy,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This partnership with GRID Alternatives not only helps put solar on suitable buildings, but offers local job training putting people to work. It’s a win-win.”

GRID’s ongoing national expansion efforts are supported by a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Fair Street installation is additionally sponsored by NRG Energy, Ardsley Partners, and GRID Alternatives’ national equipment partners: SunPower, Enphase Energy, Jinko Solar, IronRidge, and Schneider Electric.

Multifamily housing owners and developers interested in learning more about GRID’s no-cost technical assistance and solar offerings can visit www.gridalternatives.org/multifamily.

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