SunShot Prize Competition Ends with Connecticut Team as One of Final Two

Impressive results earned team an award of distinction, highlight path to continued success

 

Rocky Hill, CT (Nov. 2, 2017) – The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Prize: Race to 7-Day Solar, a national competition intended to reduce the time it takes to “go solar” across the country, has ended, and the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Challenge team was among the two final participants. While neither team was eligible for the grand prize, both teams made impressive progress and were given an award of distinction for their efforts.

The SunShot competition began in September 2015 with five competing teams across the country and concluded in March 2017. During the competition, three teams — Northern and Central California SunShot Alliance, Sunrun, and the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Challenge — reached a major milestone in the competition and were each awarded $100,000 in seed prizes and received the title “SunShot Prize Change Champion.”

The Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Challenge team was comprised of the Connecticut Green Bank, and the state’s investor-owned utilities, Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Company, as well as solar installers representing nearly 60% of the state’s solar market, and many municipalities. Working together, they created a multi-pronged strategic approach to reducing solar installation times, and relied on detailed project tracking and evaluation, which enabled them to inform and replicate strategies that positively impacted project completion times.

According to the challenge’s criteria, to win the competition’s $3 million grand prize, teams needed to get a minimum of 2,250 points and complete 85% of its total installed capacity in 56 days or less. The Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Challenge team reported the installation of 1,501 systems in 49 participating municipalities covering 141 different zip codes. The systems that were installed averaged 8.74 kW, resulting in 13.03 MW of total installed solar capacity. The median total time, from permit to plug-in was 89 days and 78.6% of its total installed capacity was completed in 56 days or less.

To attain this success, the team worked closely to identify and implement process improvements for solar installations across the value chain. The competition enabled the team to create resources that walk residents through the permit to plug-in process, standardize aspects of municipal solar permitting processes, and implement improvements to the utility interconnection process for solar PV.

“While there was no winning team, it’s clear that the residents of Connecticut are the winners here,” said Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia. “Residents will continue to benefit from the lessons learned from the interaction between the utilities, solar contractors, municipalities and the Green Bank. We are proud to have been one of the final two teams striving towards such an important goal for the adoption of residential solar PV.”

The other final team was the Northern and Central California SunShot Alliance, who completed 80% of their total installed capacity in 56 days or less.  While California was not able to meet the minimum point threshold for a grand prize, they completed the competition with 1,780 points – only 10 points more than Connecticut.

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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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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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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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Kresge invests $3 million in Connecticut Green Bank to support solar generation and storage in affordable housing

First round of Kresge Community Finance loans provides $14 million to six CDFIs, DFAs

December 18, 2016 – The Kresge Foundation announced today $14 million in investments to six Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF).

KCF invited proposals from qualifying CDFIs and DFAs working in American cities on projects that align with Kresge’s strategic priorities in six program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Detroit.

Kresge Community Finance wordmarkMore than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with small operating grants.

Program-related investments made in the first round of Kresge Community Finance funding include:

  • $3 million to Reinvestment Fund to support creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans.
  • $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank to support the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in Connecticut’s urban and coastal communities.
  • $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England to support the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing, and healthy food retail projects in cities in Southern New England.
  • $3 million to Enterprise Community Loan Fund for the equitable revitalization of the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit’s East Jefferson neighborhood.
  • $3 million to Boston Community Capital in support of its collaboration with MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in Massachusetts cities pursuing community-led placemaking redevelopment.
  • $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of its partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density and walkability.

In total, the Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations. Additional investments through KCF will be announced in 2017.

“We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs,” said Joe Evans, the foundation’s portfolio manager, Social Investment Practice, “and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities.”

Kresge’s Social Investment Practice uses a variety of financial tools to invest in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments by 2020.

“To move that amount of money, we wanted to explore innovative ways of sourcing and funding a large pipeline of investments that advance our mission, while balancing risk and portfolio construction considerations,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investments Practice. “The demand for KCF proved to us that there is a market for this type of product, and we’re thrilled to partner with and support so many important efforts that will improve opportunity for thousands of low-income people.”

CDFIs are private nonprofits that leverage private sector investment to provide financing and technical assistance for a range of community development activities, including job creation, small business development, housing and other community development.

DFAs are public, private and non-profit development entities that provide financing for programs that foster job creation and economic development with a focus on growing housing and employment opportunities in low income communities.

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

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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.

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For More Information, Contact:

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

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Connecticut Green Bank Recognized for Connecticut Solar Lease Commercial Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Clean Energy States Alliance

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

 

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Construction near Completion for Solar Exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About Energize Connecticut

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

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