Connecticut Green Bank Presents PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 2, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced the winners of the 2016 PACEsetter Awards during a ceremony today at the Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven. The award winners are the driving force behind the success of the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. This is the second annual PACEsetter Awards ceremony.

The Connecticut Green Bank created the PACEsetter Awards to acknowledge contractors, building owners and other stakeholders who are advancing the green energy movement through C-PACE, and who’s leadership establishes a ‘pace’ for others in their field to follow.

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, which helps commercial and industrial property owners access affordable, 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 achieve lower energy costs and increase their bottom-line.

The Green Bank acknowledged contractors, building owners and other stakeholders across multiple categories:

  • Top Performer, 2016
    • Green Earth Energy, a C-PACE contractor based in East Windsor who closed 13 C-PACE projects in 2016, the most of any contractor in the program
  • Best Newcomer, 2016
    • Beacon Mechanical Service, a C-PACE contractor based in Granby who closed their first C-PACE project in 2016 and utilized technical assistance that Green Bank offers to new contractors
  • Outstanding Project, 2016
    • Ross Solar Group of Danbury & Defeo Manufacturing for their C-PACE project at Defeo Manufacturing’s Brookfield facility – the 64.7 kW rooftop solar system and roof replacement was the first C-PACE project to close through the Green Bank’s Energy on the Line program
    • Energy Resources of Thomaston & HARC for their comprehensive energy efficiency and solar C-PACE project at HARC’s Hartford facility
  • Accelerating PACE, 2016:
    • Donna Pellitteri, Tax Collector for the Town of Trumbull, who has been a leader in her municipality’s participation in C-PACE
    • Jeff Bishop of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, who has been a driving force in using C-PACE for economic development in the Bridgeport region.
    • Ralph Coppola, owner of Northeast Quality Services in Cromwell, which used C-PACE to complete a comprehensive energy efficiency project that included HVAC, lighting and air sealing, has advocated for C-PACE and communicated the benefits to fellow property owners

 “The strength of our contractor network, leadership from building owners, and the countless individuals advocating for C-PACE is what has made this program a success,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank.  “The Connecticut Green Bank is very pleased to recognize these PACEsetters, whose efforts continue to strengthen the C-PACE program. Their hard work means more Connecticut businesses are using more green energy and reducing their energy costs. We look forward to continuing to work with them and others to accelerate the green energy movement with C-PACE.”

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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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.”

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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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Green Bank Financed Green Energy Project Nears Completion

Curtis Packaging Uses C-PACE for Solar and Natural Gas Conversion Project

Sandy Hook, CT (October 4, 2016) – Curtis Packaging, a provider of luxury packaging for some of the world’s top brands, is nearing completion on a multi-million-dollar project to improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable energy systems at its production headquarters in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

The $2.5 million project is being financed through Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. C-PACE allows commercial and industrial property owners access to affordable, long-term financing for green energy. Building owners finance qualifying 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 positive cash flow, while enabling businesses like Curtis Packaging to support their sustainability efforts.

Curtis Packaging has financed a natural gas conversion project, new energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems, and a solar array capable of producing an average of nearly 950,000 kWh of electricity annually. The project is being financed over a period of 16 years and is expected to produce energy cost savings of $4.5 million over the life of the project.

Using green energy is very important to Curtis Packaging and the company’s customers, who benefit from the ability to market their products as having a reduced impact on the environment.

“Green companies want to work with other green companies,” said Don Droppo, Jr., President and CEO of Curtis Packaging, “so this has opened up an entire new avenue of growth for us. Curtis is the first luxury packaging company to be 100% carbon neutral and the first to rely on 100% renewable energy. With the help of the C-PACE program, we were able to further our sustainability efforts and make these most recent upgrades, including getting rid of a 50-year-old oil burner with very little out of pocket investment. Everyone wins in this deal and we couldn’t have done it without the Connecticut Green Bank.”

The project is being completed by JK Energy Solutions, based in Thomaston, Connecticut. JK Energy Solutions designs comprehensive, multi-measure energy projects based on the energy needs of clients and is currently working on several other C-PACE projects.

“Our first step is to improve efficiency of existing systems before designing renewable energy systems like the Curtis Packaging solar array,” said Rich Cardita of JK Energy Solutions. “Using this ground-up planning process, we avoid the installation of new systems that exceed the needs of our clients and help them to build better businesses. Curtis Packaging’s decision to use a Connecticut based company helps foster the growth of the renewable energy industry in Connecticut.”

“The C-PACE project at Curtis Packaging is a great example of how Connecticut businesses can use more green energy,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “Thanks to the C-PACE financing model, energy upgrades that have long been back-burner issues for businesses like Curtis Packaging are now much easier to address. We’re very proud to have been a part of this great project. Now Curtis Packaging can improve their bottom line and solidify their commitment to sustainability.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is currently offering owner-occupied manufacturers extra support to take control of their energy costs through its Energy on the Line Program, launched this spring. Qualifying manufacturers who apply for C-PACE financing are eligible for a grant of up to $50,000. The program is funded through the Connecticut DECD’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund and the deadline for applications was recently extended until November 4th, 2016. To learn more, please visit EnergyOnTheLine.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 Curtis Packaging

Curtis Packaging is a leading provider of luxury packaging solutions. We manufacture high quality folding cartons for the most discerning global brands. Every paperboard carton they create passes through the hands of many experienced packaging professionals. Each touch exemplifies the dedication, knowledge, and tradition cultivated since their establishment in 1845. They are a global leader in both printing innovation and environmental stewardship. Curtis Packaging is the first packaging company in North America to be 100% carbon neutral and use 100% renewable electricity.

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Strong Interest Leads CT Green Bank to Extend Energy On the Line Program

Affordable financing and grant opportunities will help eligible manufacturers
Application Deadline NOW: November 4th

Rocky Hill, CT (September 7, 2106) – Due to strong interest from Connecticut manufacturers, the Connecticut Green Bank has announced a deadline extension for applications for the Energy on the Line program. Nearly 60 Connecticut manufacturing companies have expressed interest in financing for green energy upgrades since the program launched in April. Energy On the Line offers grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency building upgrades at owner-occupied manufacturing facilities across the state.

Through Energy On the Line, the Green Bank provides supplemental funds to eligible manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. C-PACE provides commercial property owners with 100% financing for green energy projects that help reduce energy costs. The supplemental funding from Energy on the Line (up to $50,000) may be used for any project-related expenses at the discretion of the recipients. Manufacturers, who account for 10% of the state’s energy usage, can enjoy positive cash flow and more predictable energy costs when they make green energy upgrades using C-PACE and the Energy on the Line program.

“Connecticut manufacturers feel the burden of energy costs more than anyone, and we’re excited to see C-PACE put manufacturers back in control of their businesses through the Energy on the Line program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We look forward to working with the manufacturing community and to making green energy financing more accessible and affordable to them. That’s a win for Connecticut’s environment and economy.”

Energy On the Line is an $800,000 program funded through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund. The Connecticut Green Bank administers the program. Five energy savings projects have already been approved to receive supplemental funds and C-PACE financing through the Energy on the Line program, with another seven applications in review. Green Bank Staff estimate that current approvals and the additional project pipeline will account for more than half of the $800,000 in funding.

“We are proud of the response so far by manufacturers to the Energy On the Line program,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “Manufacturers are realizing that they are a great fit for C-PACE, and extending this deadline through November 4th will make it easier for more manufacturers to participate, taking control of their energy usage and reducing costs.”

Defeo Manufacturing was the first company to close C-PACE financing and secure access to supplemental funding through the Energy On the Line program. Defeo Manufacturing, a maker and supplier of parts for Allison Transmissions, will install a rooftop solar array capable of producing more than 80,000 kWh of electricity annually.

Funding for the Defeo Manufacturing project was made available through Greenworks Lending, a private finance company and a qualified capital provider for the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program. Connecticut’s C-PACE program allows private capital providers to be the primary financier of C-PACE projects, while it serves as a program administrator. Attracting and leveraging private investment in green energy from organizations such as Greenworks Lending allows the Green Bank to work with more commercial property owners to accelerate the adoption of green energy while using fewer public dollars to offer programs like Energy on the Line.

“Connecticut is a leader in financing renewable energy and energy efficiency and our focus is on helping companies like Defeo Manufacturing use the power of PACE to bring projects to completion,” said Jessica Baily, CEO of Greenworks Lending. “Energy On the Line makes it easy for manufacturers to realize deep energy savings and this first project, financed by Greenworks Lending, is a great success story.”

Through the Energy on the Line program, owner-occupied manufacturing facilities are eligible for up to $50,000 in grant money that can be used for project-related expenses. A limited number of grant opportunities are available to property owners who submit an application by the extended deadline of November 4th. For more information, please visit www.energyontheline.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.

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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.

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Lesro Industries, Inc. Unveils Installation of a 995 kW Solar Array

Bloomfield Manufacturing Company will save money by going solar

Bloomfield, CT (July 11, 2016) – The largest solar project financed to date by the Connecticut Green Bank’s CT Solar Lease Commercial program is now operational at Lesro Industries in Bloomfield. The project, installed by C-TEC Solar, is expected to reduce energy costs for the company by tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The new installation at Lesro Industries consists of a 995 kW solar photovoltaic system, financed using the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, and secured via a benefit assessment on the property under the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. The upgrades will produce over 1.2 million kWh a year, and are expected to save Lesro, on average, upwards of $30,000 annually in energy costs and more than $700,000 over the 20-year financing term.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project provides Lesro with certainty about their energy costs, with predictable energy costs allowing them to better plan their business expenses over time. Lesro Industries is a family business focused on manufacturing reception seating, conference and occasional tables, and accessories. Their 268,000 square foot production facility in Bloomfield serves as the company’s headquarters.

Manufacturers in Connecticut account for 10% of the state’s entire energy consumption. By switching to green energy, manufacturers can reduce their energy costs and make future costs more predictable, increase manufacturing efficiency and focus on their core business, and protect the environment.

“Energy costs are uncertain if you rely on existing systems,” said Jerry Leshem, President of Lesro Industries. “You can be green without spending more money. In fact, over the long run you can save money. Partnering with C-TEC Solar allowed us to bring down and take control of our energy costs making it easier to plan for annual expenses in the long run. The project was seamlessly implemented by C-TEC as planned, without delay and on time.”

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program combines two proven finance mechanisms: PPAs, in which a third-party finances the solar installation in exchange for tax credits and other project revenue while providing discounted energy to the property owner; and C-PACE, in which the solar installation is secured via a benefit assessment on the property. Solar PPAs secured via C-PACE are considered sound investments that allow for significant private capital to help fund projects like the one at Lesro, reducing the need for ratepayer support.

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. The Connecticut Green Bank is currently offering owner-occupied manufacturers an extra boost through its Energy on the Line program, launched this spring. Qualifying manufacturers who apply for C-PACE financing by September 16th are eligible for a grant of up to $50,000. The program is funded through the Connecticut DECD’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund.

“The new solar array at Lesro Industries is an innovative way for this manufacturer to reduce energy costs,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “Manufacturers consume a significant amount of energy, and Lesro Industries has demonstrated how green energy can put these businesses in control of their present and future energy costs, allowing them to focus on production and their customers. This industry is important to our state and we’re proud to offer green energy solutions that are enabling manufacturers to grow and thrive.”

C-TEC Solar of Bloomfield installed the solar array at Lesro. This rapidly growing company installs both commercial and residential solar projects across Southern New England and has played a strong role in growing Connecticut’s green energy movement. C-TEC Solar was a recipient of a 2015 PACEsetter Award from the Connecticut Green Bank in the “Best Newcomer” category in recognition of their work in the C-PACE program. The inaugural PACEsetter Awards recognized contractors, across multiple categories, who have set an example for other C-PACE contractors and are accelerating the green energy movement in Connecticut’s commercial sector.

“By partnering with the Connecticut Green Bank and companies such as Lesro Industries, C-TEC Solar is able to continue growing our business in Connecticut and proving the benefits of the green energy economy both here and in the region. We are setting an example for others to follow,” said Mickey Toro of C-TEC Solar.

To learn more about current offers from the Connecticut Green Bank for manufacturers financing green energy solutions, please visit EnergyOnTheLine.com.

Quotes from Local Legislators:

  • “It’s fantastic to see a local manufacturer like Lesro Industries securing their energy future and increasing their bottom line with a solar PV system. Lesro and C-TEC Solar are showing that green energy improvements are an easy and effective way to support sustainability, lower operating costs and grow business,” said State Representative David Baram, representing Bloomfield and Windsor.
  • “Congratulations and continued success to Lesro, this is a wonderful story of job creation and business growth,” said State Senator Eric D. Coleman, representing Bloomfield, Hartford and Windsor.

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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 Lesro Industries Inc.

Lesro Industries, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of reception seating and tables and built on the principles of trustworthiness and responsiveness to the customers’ needs.  Lesro’s products are carefully built with components produced in Connecticut and sourced worldwide, a hybrid manufacturing model. Lesro is branching out into new market segments at a time when North American businesses are seeking furniture that is well-made, environmentally sustainable, thoughtfully and beautifully designed and, perhaps most critical of all, comfortably within even the tightest budget. Final production is maintained in the company’s Bloomfield, CT, headquarters. For more information about Lesro Industries, Inc., please visit www.lesro.com.

About C-TEC Solar

C-TEC Solar provides residential and commercial solar customers the opportunity to obtain affordable clean energy. With 30 years of expertise as a solar energy company, C-TEC Solar is one of the most experienced solar contractors in the Northeast, specializing in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar thermal applications. C‐TEC Solar’s skilled and experienced Solar Consultants, Installers and Electricians aims to provide complete, affordable, start-to-finish solar project services with flexible solar financing solutions for your clean energy project.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:

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

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Energy Conservation Measures Will Save the Niantic Community Church Over $100,000

Niantic, CT (April 26, 2016) – The idea of implementing energy upgrades at the Niantic Community Church, in order to show environmental responsibility while saving money, began in 2013. Angela Lomanto learned about financing opportunities for green energy upgrades with the Connecticut Green Bank.  She brought the information for cost savings to the senior church leadership.

 An ad hoc committee was formed in early 2014 to study proposals on energy upgrades and how they could benefit the church with lower energy costs.  After learning more about financing and finding a contractor, the energy upgrades began at the church in June 2015. 

The new technology at the Niantic Community Church, located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Niantic, Connecticut, went live late in 2015.   The senior church leadership has begun seeing the decline in the Church’s electric bills and are thrilled.

The upgrades consist of energy conservation measures such as new windows in the sanctuary, energy-efficient lighting throughout the building, lighting controls, and a 26kW solar PV system. 

Financing for 100% of the project was made possible through the Connecticut Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.  These upgrades are expected to provide $176,260 in energy cost savings and 3,626 mmBTUs in energy savings over the life of the upgrades.

C-PACE is an innovative program that is helping commercial, industrial, non-profit and multi-family 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, more comprehensive energy improvements that would otherwise be difficult to afford are made possible. Financing for the solar installation came through a solar power purchase agreement, under which the Connecticut Green Bank funded the installation of the solar PV system for no money down with the church receiving a discounted electricity rate for the clean energy generated over 20 years. 

“The Connecticut Green Bank is committed to making green energy accessible and affordable to everyone in Connecticut”, said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank.  “The new energy efficiency measures and the solar installation at the Niantic Community Church are innovative ways for the organization to cut down on their energy costs.  As a community church, many people will reap the benefits of the upgrades. The church’s focus on clean energy clearly demonstrates their desire for a better quality of life, a better environment, and really, a better future for all of us.”

The Niantic Community Church members are excited about the savings they will see with the energy upgrades.  The money saved will help with the overall church budget.   

“Over the next twenty years, Niantic Community Church will benefit from this program and use clean energy along the way.  There are many members of our church who want the environment to be safer for the coming generations,” said Angela Lomanto, member of the church’s Green Team.

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.

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’Energy on the Line’ Program Will Lower Energy Costs for Connecticut Manufacturers

Affordable financing and grant opportunities will help eligible manufacturers be more competitive

Hartford, CT (April 25, 2016) – The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Green Bank today unveiled a new initiative that provides manufacturers an innovative way to lower their energy costs. The ‘Energy on the Line’ program offers grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency building upgrades.

“This is yet another example of how we are supporting Connecticut manufacturers — and we’re doing it by bolstering our green energy efforts. By lowering energy costs for businesses, we’re helping them remain competitive and doing it with environmentally positive methods,” stated Governor Dannel Malloy.  “It’s another step forward not just in our support for businesses, but also in our efforts to protect the environment.”

The ‘Energy on the Line’ program will provide supplemental funds to manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. C-PACE provides commercial property owners with full financing for green energy projects that help reduce the plant’s total energy cost and improve emissions.  The supplemental funding from Energy on the Line (up to $50,000) may be used for any project-related expenses at the discretion of the recipients, thereby reducing the amount of financing from C-PACE needed to complete the project and lowering the company’s borrowing costs.

The $800,000 program is funded through the DECD’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund and will be matched by more than $8 million of private sector funds through the Connecticut Green Bank.  The Connecticut Green Bank will administer the program.

“It’s all about being competitive,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD.  “‘Energy on the Line’ will help our manufacturers reduce cost, enabling more competitive pricing and future growth in the state.  This is a great economic development tool for the manufacturing sector.”

“Connecticut manufacturers feel the burden of high energy costs more than anyone, and we’re excited to see C-PACE put manufacturers back in control of their businesses through the ‘Energy on the Line’ program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We look forward to working with the manufacturing community and to making green energy financing more accessible and affordable to them. That’s a win for Connecticut’s environment and economy.”

The ‘Energy on the Line’ program will begin today and is open to all Connecticut manufacturing companies that have owner-occupied facilities.  Applications must be received by September 16, 2016.  To learn more, please visit: www.EnergyOnTheLine.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. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic and Community Development (www.decd.org) is the state’s lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the rapidly changing knowledge-based global economy. The department administers the Manufacturing Innovation Fund that was created to support and strengthen Connecticut’s manufacturing sector.

 

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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)

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