Connecticut Green Bank’s Groundbreaking ABS Deal Demonstrates the Power of Tech-Enabled Market Transformation

Trend Report: Fintech’s Ripple Effect on the Renewable Energy Market

Written for members of the investment community focused on energy T-REX Trend Report: Fintech’s Ripple Effect on the Renewable Energy Market - Access a Complimentary Copy of the Full Reportefficient asset classes, this issue of the T-REX Trend Report uses Connecticut Green Bank’s landmark SHREC ABS deal to showcase how smart technology drives market transformation.

New York, NY, July 16, 2019 — T-REX, a leading data services and software provider for complex financial markets, shares insights on investing, data transparency, and technology trends in its latest Trend Report.

Report Abstract: Financing for solar installations is challenging. However, with greater access to financing, more solar energy systems can be installed. This increased deployment of clean energy not only leads to an overall better quality of life for the public, it creates a ripple effect that impacts local communities from a number of different angles. This, coupled with their high yield potential, makes renewables extremely attractive for investors seeking high impact, socially responsible additions to their portfolios. Despite the draw, green energy remains exposed to friction across the financing and investment lifecycle due to data, analytics, and workflow limitations.

Knowing the friction that exists in the financing of solar and other renewables, Connecticut Green Bank (CGB) decided to leverage T-REX to bring transparency and efficiency to their first securitization. The highly successful, landmark transaction not only led to a number of benefits for Connecticut’s 3.5 million residents, it also set an important example of how smart technology transforms markets by simplifying and streamlining process. In this edition of the Trend Report, we use CGB’s transaction to walk through the typical financing challenges and best practices that pre-emptively address them.

Access a complimentary copy of the T-REX Trend Report at https://www.trexgroup.com/t-rex-trend-report-july-2019/


About T-REX

T-REX combines sophisticated SaaS technology with big data and asset class expertise to drive down cost of capital and reduce risk exposure for complex investments. Solutions address friction at each stage of the asset lifecycle, from origination through investment. By empowering efficient finance, T-REX creates significant investment opportunities across $500 billion in new assets every year. Performance Data Service and analytics platform for Loan and Asset Warehousing, Structured Credit, and Energy Project Finance.

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Canton Hydroelectric Facility to Produce Clean Energy for Connecticut

Historic powerhouse will produce 1 MW of renewable, clean energy and provide many benefits to the Town of Canton, the people of Connecticut, and the environment

Rocky Hill, Conn. (July 8, 2019) – The construction of a 1 megawatt (MW) hydroelectric facility at the Upper Collinsville Dam on the Farmington River in Canton is resuming construction after the closing of the construction loans, according to the project’s developer, Canton Hydro, LLC. The project is the result of significant expertise and innovation from many stakeholders, including the Town of Canton, The Provident Bank, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Connecticut Green Bank. Once operational, the facility is projected to generate an average 4.3 million kWh of clean energy and save 3.2 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, while preserving a historic powerhouse, enhancing public safety features, and revitalizing aquatic habitat by allowing fish to swim upstream for spawning for the first time since 1867.

“Hydro projects like this one in Canton are very exciting for Connecticut,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Although these projects require significant work and coordination, they provide a great example of how the Green Bank’s public-private partnership model works to leverage capital, revitalize Connecticut’s environmental infrastructure, and produce clean energy for years to come.”

This project is the culmination of more than a decade of efforts, including the drafting of the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act (H.R. 316; Pub.L. 113–122), a U.S. public law that was introduced into the 113th United States Congress, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 30, 2014. The bill allowed the Town to take over the lapsed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses to refurbish two old dams. Originally constructed for hydropower that generated electricity for the former Collins Company factory, the site ceased generation in 1966. After a pre-feasibility study concluded the site could again support hydroelectric, the Town of Canton selected Canton Hydro through a competitive request for proposals.

“In addition to the generation of clean energy and reduction of carbon emissions, this hydro project will provide long-term benefits to Canton residents, the state, the environment and the wildlife,” said Canton First Selectman Beth Kandrysawtz. “Some of the other positive outcomes will be the construction of an upstream fish and eel passage, enhanced recreational possibilities due to the increased water level in the upper impoundment area, the improvement of flood control, and the creation of jobs. Not to mention the preservation of the historic powerhouse which was built in the 1930s.”

Clean Energy Through Creative Financing

The final requirement for the project was securing financing, which was accomplished through a creative partnership structure. The total project cost is approximately $6.6 million with the Green Bank providing a $1.2 million subordinate loan and $500,000 limited guaranty to leverage an approximately $4.7 million senior loan from The Provident Bank through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan program. Additional equity is being provided by Canton Hydro.

“When a project has this many moving parts — environmental, economic, legislative and so on — it’s vital to have a financial partner willing to take a comprehensive approach that benefits both the client and their community,” says Dave Mansfield, CEO of The Provident Bank. “The Provident team is powered by innovation and that’s why renewable energy lending and the type of creative financing required for something such as the Upper Collinsville Dam, are not only a specialty of ours, but true passion projects.”

Redeveloping Historic Hydropower

The dam is owned by the State of Connecticut and the water rights will be leased to Canton Hydro over a 30-year period. Utilizing the state’s Virtual Net Metering program, State of Connecticut owned buildings through DEEP will benefit from the lower cost renewable energy. 

“This is a terrific project that builds on Connecticut’s legacy of leadership in environmental protection and clean energy development,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Working with the Green Bank and local developers across Connecticut, we can improve our historic dams to provide clean energy, while at the same time restoring these facilities that create opportunities for recreation and wildlife conservation, and protecting our precious water resources. The process and documentation established with this project will serve as a replicable model that can be used with other state buildings that could benefit from clean energy technologies.”

The project will use a Kaplan turbine manufactured by WWS Wasserkraft GmbH, an Austrian company with longstanding experience in the construction of high-performance hydroelectric plants smaller than 10 MW per unit. In addition to supplying the main equipment, Wasserkraft will act as the turnkey solution provider and will supervise construction. A Denil Fishway passage to support the migration of fish into the Farmington River will be installed along with a new low-level fish guidance barrier to prevent fish swimming towards the primary spillway and guide them directly to the entrance of the upstream fish passage.

“This project is a truly innovative approach to the redevelopment of a hydropower plant in Connecticut,” said Mariana Cardenas Trief, clean energy finance consultant to the Green Bank. “The capital stack displays a creative blend of public funding, from sources like the Green Bank and the SBA 504 Loan program, and private investment from Provident.”

 

About Canton Hydro LLC

Canton Hydro was established in 2015 for the purposed of the redevelopment of the Upper Collinsville Hydro facility by a group of architects, engineers and investors passionate about revitalizing hydro power assets and preserving historic structures while improving the aquatic habitat. For more information, please visit www.cantonhydro.com.

About The Provident Bank

The Provident Bank, a subsidiary of Provident Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PVBC), is an innovative, commercial bank that finds solutions for our business and private clients. We are committed to strengthening the economic development of the regions we serve, by working closely with businesses and private clients and delivering superior products and high-touch services to meet their banking needs. The Provident has offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. All deposits are insured in full through a combination of insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).

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A Leader in Climate Finance, Connecticut Green Bank Enters the Green Bond Market

Solar Home Renewable Energy Credit Program Achieves Climate Bond Certification for $38 Million Issuance

Rocky Hill, CT (June 6, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank has issued green Asset-Backed Securities consisting of $36.8 million in Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits (SHREC) Collateralized Notes Series 2019-1 Class A and $1.8 million Series 2019-1 Notes, Class B. The financing is certified against the Climate Bonds Standard, providing investors with assurance of the deal’s green credentials. Verification against the Climate Bonds Standard was done by Kestrel Verifiers, a US-based company. Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit specializing in environmental impact assessment, provided an independent review of the beneficial impacts of the activities and programs financed with the securities. The Green Bank worked with RBC Capital Markets as their underwriter and sole book runner in this green bond transaction.

The proceeds from the monetization of the SHRECs are allocated to fund the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP), which was created to fulfill state policy adopted in 2015 that mandated the installation of 300 MW of new residential solar by 2022, while developing a local solar industry. The Green Bank is moving swiftly towards accomplishing this goal two years ahead of schedule. Through its ongoing evaluation efforts to measure positive societal impact, the Green Bank will be tracking job growth, tax revenue generation, air pollution reductions, public health improvements, and equitable access to clean energy as a result of increased investment in the deployment of clean energy.  

“In an effort to accelerate the growth of the market for residential solar PV in Connecticut, this transaction represents an approach that can scale-up public and private investment in our state’s growing green energy economy,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Such investment will not only reduce the burden of energy costs on our families, specifically low-to-moderate income families, but it will also create jobs in our communities and reduce the pollution that causes climate change.”

A Regional Leader and National Model

A regional leader in sustainability and climate finance, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized as the 2017 Innovations in American Government Award winner from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University for their “Sparking a Green Bank Movement” nomination. The Green Bank’s public-private partnership structure is often cited as a model for national green bank proposals introduced in Congress, which would rely on the issuance of federal green bonds for funding. Issuing Certified Climate Bonds further demonstrates the Green Bank’s commitment as a regional and national leader and model.

The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is like fair-trade labelling for financial instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that the activities to be financed are consistent with the 2 degrees Celsius warming limit in the Paris Agreement. Climate Bonds Certification is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and financial markets to prioritize investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Environmental Outcomes Measured by Metrics

The Connecticut Green Bank recognizes the importance of leadership in moving toward a zero-carbon future. To this end, the Green Bank has developed clear strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut and a mission to achieve cleaner, cheaper and more reliable sources of energy while creating high-paying jobs, supporting local economic development, and increasing accessibility and equity for all.

To serve as a leader and enter the green bond market successfully, these strategies and plans must be supported with metrics and data measurement that prove their efficacy.

“The Green Bank has thoughtfully built out our methodologies for assessing impact by consulting and engaging local and national experts,” said Eric Shrago, Managing Director of Operations at the Green Bank. “We have built a world class technological platform that tracks our projects and their performance. This has operationalized our impact methodologies so that we can speak to the societal benefits of all of our activities with ease and reasonable certainty. This transparency in methodology and data gives investors/stakeholders confidence that we are accomplishing what we set out to and demonstrates how we are doing.”

Beyond affordable and clean energy, many of these societal benefits align with those outlined by the United Nations in their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ensuring good health and well-being, promoting decent work and economic growth, and building resilient infrastructure.

For example, through the RSIP, the Green Bank has reduced 749,500 tons of CO2e GHG emissions as calculated by Climate Action Reserve’s Climate Impact Score. This is the equivalent of 159,130 passenger vehicles driven for one year, 84 million gallons of gasoline consumed, or the emissions from 1.7 million barrels of oil consumed. Additionally, the RSIP has created more than 14,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

Future Issuances

The Green Bank has plans for future issuances.

“The SHREC program and the Climate Bond certified asset backed securities will factor into the Green Bank’s plans going forward,” states Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “By raising capital through the issuance of green bonds, the Green Bank can significantly scale-up its investment activities while increasing opportunities for private investment in our state’s clean energy economy.”

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. 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” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

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Hartford Habitat for Humanity Completes Zero Energy Ready Home

Local non-profit celebrates 30th anniversary by building Habitat’s first Zero Energy Ready home in state

 

HARTFORD, Conn., June 1, 2019 The Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity (HAHFH) and partners Eversource, Home Energy Technologies, Posigen and Connecticut Green Bank recently celebrated the construction of Habitat’s first Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH), located at 153 Roosevelt in South Hartford.

Unveiled during a dedication ceremony on May 31, the Roosevelt home is built to Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home standards, and is so energy efficient it can offset all or most of its energy consumption.

The Walton Family receiving keys to their new zero energy home.

“Since 2002, we have built ENERGY STAR standard homes. For Hartford Habitat’s 30th anniversary, we wanted to build a high-performance, sustainable home that would decrease the burden of homeownership and make it more affordable for our clients,” said Hartford Habitat Executive Director Karraine Moody. “Thanks to Eversource’s energy efficiency expertise, our volunteers and other partners, we achieved our goal of creating a more affordable housing option for the Hartford community, and be the first Habitat organization in Connecticut to build a Zero Energy Ready Home.”

“We are thrilled that Hartford is home to Connecticut’s first Zero Energy Ready Home by Habitat,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “Habitat for Humanity changes lives and lifts up communities by expanding home ownership opportunities, and combining that mission with cutting-edge green building and sustainability efforts is really powerful.”

“Home ownership has a lasting impact on families, and ensuring that it is affordable is critical to building stronger communities,” said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian. “At Eversource, we take pride in building modern, sustainable housing, and because of Habitat’s commitment, we were able to advance the zero energy housing movement into Hartford’s affordable housing sector. It’s partnerships like these that will help us lower emissions and achieve a clean-energy future.”

“We are very proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a Net-Zero home,” said Tom Neyhart, PosiGen CEO. “Until now, most people believed that Net-Zero Construction was only for the affluent.  At PosiGen, we believe we can only achieve true change if all families, no matter what their economic status is, are included. Solar for All is PosiGen’s mission and we believe this partnership with Habitat for Humanity is a huge step in the right direction!

To achieve the ZERH designation, the Roosevelt home had to achieve several criteria, such as optimal thermal protection, whole house water protection, high-performance heating and cooling, high-efficiency components, comprehensive indoor air quality, and solar ready construction.

The 1,200 square foot, three-bedroom home features ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, low-flow fixtures, a heat pump hot water heater, air tight construction and solar panels. It also achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index of –15, which is the industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. As a ZERH, the Roosevelt home will be at least 40-50 percent more energy efficient than a typical new home, leaving the homeowners with a net zero energy bill, and a carbon free-home. 

 

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Connecticut Green Bank Accelerates Adoption of Solar Energy in Communities of Color

Download the report here.

RSIP and Solar for All Programs Lead to Parity in Solar Installations Across Communities of Color and White Neighborhoods

Rocky Hill, CT (May 20, 2019) — Connecticut is bucking a national trend of disparity when it comes to solar adoption among communities of color, according to figures released today by the Connecticut Green Bank. The rise is due to Green Bank’s successful efforts to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for homeowners in communities of color and low-to-moderate income (LMI) households by intentionally engaging these traditionally underserved communities.

Many homeowners are installing rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to save money on energy costs while generating clean, renewable energy. Although the number of rooftop solar installations in the U.S. has increased more than 50% per year for the past seven years, in many states, communities of color have not participated in this rapid adoption of solar. A 2019 Tufts University study found that majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods have installed less rooftop solar compared to neighborhoods with No Majority race by 61% and 45%, respectively, while majority White neighborhoods installed 37% more.

In 2012, the Green Bank launched the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP) to make rooftop solar installations more affordable by providing Connecticut homeowners with rebates and performance-based incentives (PBI) designed to lower initial out-of-pocket costs. Overall, RSIP has helped more than 30,000 households to date add solar as it continues to quickly approach its current 300MW program allocation.

In 2015, the Green Bank and its Board of Directors addressed an observed income disparity in solar adoption by adding special incentives for low and moderate income households to the residential solar program, which quickly accelerated solar adoption in low and moderate income communities. Recent analysis shows that this has also been extremely successful in reaching communities of color in the state. Today, on a per owner-occupied household basis, there are 86% more RSIP installations in majority Black neighborhoods, 18% more in majority Hispanic neighborhoods, and 20% more in No Majority race neighborhoods as compared to majority White neighborhoods.

A primary driver of democratized access to solar energy in the state has been the Green Bank’s Solar for All program. In 2015, at the same time Green Bank established its LMI incentive, the organization  released a request for proposals seeking contractors to help reach underserved markets. This RFP resulted in a partnership with solar provider PosiGen and the creation of the Solar for All program. Solar for All leverages Green Bank’s elevated incentive to offer LMI homeowners a solar lease paired with energy efficiency upgrades customized for each home including air sealing, LED light bulbs, pipe wrap and programmable thermostats. These measures are in addition to the energy efficiency measures that are installed as part of the state’s Home Energy Solutions (HES) program.

PosiGen’s Solar for All program has been even more successful than the overall RSIP program in reaching communities of color. PosiGen has more projects per home in majority Black (1275%), Hispanic (408%) and No Majority race (427%) neighborhoods than in majority White neighborhoods.

“In 2015, when we realized that all homeowners in Connecticut did not have access to the benefits of the clean energy economy, our mission compelled us to act. This study confirms that the response to our programs in underserved communities of color has been even more positive than we anticipated,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of Green Bank. “Today, there are still significant opportunities for residential solar growth in owner-occupied homes across the state, and we are committed to working with partners like PosiGen to continue to make green energy available and affordable for all Connecticut neighborhoods.”

“The Solar for All program has been an astounding success in Connecticut, closing the clean energy affordability gap and increasing solar adoption by more than 187% in LMI communities,” said Thomas Neyhart, CEO of PosiGen. “With the help of the Green Bank, the state is also leading the way in bringing cost-savings and energy independence to households in communities of color.”

To access the full report, “Sharing Solar Benefits: Reaching Households in Underserved Communities of Color in Connecticut,” please visit: https://www.ctgreenbank.com/sharing-solar-benefits-may2019/

 

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. 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” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About PosiGen

Headquartered in New Orleans, LA, PosiGen is one of the nation’s leading residential solar, energy efficiency and energy education providers for low-to-moderate income families. PosiGen has more than 14,000 residential customers, over 220 direct employees and supports more than 120 employees through its contractors in LouisianaConnecticutNew Jersey and Florida. PosiGen’s unique services and products make solar energy affordable to homeowners of all income levels, and offer individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and energy independence lowering their utility bills. To learn everything about PosiGen, please visit www.posigen.com.

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FuelCell Energy Closes on the Acquisition of the 14.9 Megawatt Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park from Dominion Energy  

  • Increases the Company’s generation portfolio to 26.1 megawatts
  • Fuel cell park is one of the largest producers of renewable energy credits in CT
  • Financing provided by Liberty Bank, Fifth Third Bank and the Connecticut Green Bank             

DANBURY, Conn., May 13, 2019 —  FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a global leader in delivering clean, innovative and affordable fuel cell solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy, today announced that it has closed on the acquisition of the 14.9 megawatt fuel cell park in Bridgeport, CT with Dominion Energy.  FuelCell Energy developed, constructed and commissioned the Bridgeport fuel cell park in December of 2013. Since its commissioning, FuelCell Energy has operated and maintained the plant under a service agreement with Dominion Energy.

FuelCell Energy will own and operate the plant as part of its generation portfolio. The transaction includes:

  • Added annual revenue in excess of $15 million per year;
  • Delivering EBITDA margins in excess of 50%, and
  • Progressive step for FuelCell Energy’s earnings per share.

Under the terms of the agreement, FuelCell Energy acquired 100% of the equity interest in Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell, LLC, from Dominion Generation, Inc., the original owner of the 14.9 MW project asset.

“The addition of this project asset to our generation portfolio is a major step towards our long-term strategy to diversify our generation portfolio, transitioning FuelCell Energy into a services focused business that delivers recurring revenue with strong EBITDA margins for our stockholders,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. “We certainly extend our appreciation to Liberty Bank, Fifth Third Bank, and the Connecticut Green Bank for their support and recognition of the social and economic benefits our fuel cell solutions deliver.”

Total cash consideration paid was $35.4 million. FuelCell Energy funded the acquisition with a combination of third party financing and $15 million of restricted cash on hand that was tied to the project and released at closing. Liberty Bank and Fifth Third Bank jointly provided the senior project-level debt facility of $25 million, while the Connecticut Green Bank provided additional subordinated capital.

“We are pleased to assist FuelCell Energy in securing competitive bank acquisition funding for the Bridgeport project,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Green Bank. “This financing demonstrates once again FuelCell Energy’s ability to attract traditional project finance capital from commercial banks long available to solar, wind and hydro.”

Cautionary Language  
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company’s anticipated financial results and statements regarding the Company’s plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, changes to projected deliveries and order flow, changes to production rate and product costs, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, unanticipated manufacturing issues that impact power plant performance, changes in critical accounting policies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company’s ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

About FuelCell Energy
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) delivers efficient, affordable and clean solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy.  We design, manufacture, undertake project development of, install, operate and maintain megawatt-scale fuel cell systems, serving utilities and industrial and large municipal power users with solutions that include both utility-scale and on-site power generation, carbon capture, local hydrogen production for transportation and industry, and long duration energy storage.  With SureSource™ installations on three continents and millions of megawatt hours of ultra-clean power produced, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in designing, manufacturing, installing, operating and maintaining environmentally responsible fuel cell power solutions.  Visit us online at www.fuelcellenergy.com and follow us on Twitter @FuelCell_Energy.   

Contact:
FuelCell Energy
203.205.2491
[email protected] 

 

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Boston University Questrom School of Business Wins Aspen Institute’s International MBA Case Competition Featuring Connecticut’s Green Bank

Aspen Institute’s Competition asked 23 international business schools to address future programmatic direction of nation’s first green bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was recently the focus of the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, where students representing 23 top international business schools analyzed a Yale School of Management (SOM) authored case study centered on the quasi-public agency’s future sustainability. The five highest scoring teams recently presented their proposals and the winner, Boston University Questrom School of Business, was announced on April 26 at a ceremony at the Yale Club in New York City where Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was the keynote speaker.

“As Connecticut strives to become greener and more energy efficient to meet our statutory goals, we no longer have to choose between the environment and economic growth, as the Green Bank has proven,” said Governor Lamont. “Our state has been a hub for clean energy innovation — an effort strengthened recently through my first executive order as governor, which expanded Connecticut’s ‘Lead By Example’ initiative. Proposals like these not only help the Green Bank become more resilient and sustainable in the future, but support investments in sustainable businesses and further safeguard our environment.”

  • The winning team from Boston University Questrom School of Business.
  • The team from Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • The team from John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business, Duquesne University.
  • The team from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University.
  • Teams presented their proposals.
  • Green Bank Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter was one of the competition's judges.

As the nation’s first green bank, the Connecticut Green Bank is no stranger to innovative thinking and was awarded with the “Innovations in American Government Awards” by the Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in July of 2017 for “Sparking the Green Bank Movement.” It was this kind of solution-oriented thinking back in 2011 that led the state’s General Assembly, on a bipartisan basis, to form the Green Bank to promote cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. Since then, the Green Bank has invested more than $1.5 billion into clean energy projects that have generated more than 330 MW of installed capacity. This has helped create 16,500 induced, indirect and direct job years and prevented more than 5.3 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

In its tenth year, the Aspen Institute’s Competition tasked students with helping the Green Bank and Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC), a non-profit organization co-created by the Green Bank in 2018, by proposing a new program or an enhancement to an existing program that would position both organizations to become sustainable. The teams’ proposals were judged on the depth and breadth of their analysis, the development of the rationale for their recommended action, the impact on affected constituencies, and the anticipation of challenges.

In addition to the winner, rounding out the top five teams were: Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business, Duquesne University; Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University; and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

“Our competition prompts MBA students to innovate for the good of business and society, using their analytical and critical thinking skills on a real situation, and the Green Bank is a perfect subject,” said Justin Goldbach, Founder & Director of The Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition. “The Yale SOM case study on the Green Bank highlights its success in Connecticut, and its influence on the formation of other green banks, but also shows their continued need to innovate to remain viable and overcome obstacles.”

The teams offered critical insight into potential new directions for the Green Bank and IPC. Ideas proposed for the Green Bank included enhancements to the existing programs, like Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), and suggestions for new programs for the promotion of Clean Energy Microgrid (CEM) installations, a pilot bonded financing model for infrastructure upgrades, the formation of a green start-up incubator, and investment in electric vehicles. The winning team suggested investment in a new fleet of electric buses for Connecticut schools and the Department of Transportation.

“This has been the peak learning experience of our MBAs so far, and it’s been so awesome to meet the other teams,” said Sara DuPont, a member of the winning team.

For IPC, suggestions included expanding the Smart-E loan program, creation of a fellows initiative, and developing a certification program for contractors.

“At the Connecticut Green Bank, we spend our days working to balance business goals with societal impacts, while finding innovative ways to confront climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “It was inspiring to read these proposals from the best international business school students who could see the Green Bank’s vision and help guide our mission in the future.  We look forward to bringing several of these innovative ideas into the marketplace.”

 

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. 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” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

Founded in 1998 by Yale SOM alumnus Judith Samuelson, the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society—and the planet. Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Program identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success, and to connect classroom theory and business practice. For more information, visit www.aspenbsp.org.

 

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Darien celebrates Earth Day with a ribbon cutting on solar projects

Pictured from, left to right, are Craig Flaherty, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Sustainability, Ed Gentile, Director of Public Works,  First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Green Bank.

On Earth Day (Monday, April 22, 2019), the town of Darien held a ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize the installation of solar photovoltiac systems at their police station, the Department of Public Works Garage, and Town Hall.  These are the first of six new solar systems on the roofs of town facilities to go online; the other sites are Tokeneke School, Holmes School, and the Board of Education Administration Building. 

The Connecticut Green Bank owns the systems, which were designed and constructed by Encon.  The town paid no upfront costs for the systems and will purchase power from the Connecticut Green Bank at a fixed and flat rate over the next 20 years. When all six projects are installed and producing energy, the town’s savings are projected to exceed $1 million over the 20 year contract term.

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Connecticut Green Bank presents 2018 PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 26, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank has announced the winners of the 2018 PACEsetter Awards. 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 whose leadership establishes a “pace” for others in their field to follow. The award ­­­winners are a driving force behind the success of the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. These are the fourth annual PACEsetter Awards. 

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, which helps commercial, industrial, and non-profit 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, 2018

Smart Roofs Solar, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in Newtown who closed seven C-PACE projects in 2018.

Outstanding Project, 2018

CTEC Solar of Bloomfield & Hebrew High School of New England in West Hartford for their solar PV project, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) secured by C-PACE; and

64 Solar of Port Chester, NY & Spinnaker Real Estate Partners of South Norwalk for their solar project financed through C-PACE at 345 Ely Avenue in Norwalk, CT, a 122,000-square-foot warehouse building serving as a digital production facility for a global media company. This project included a solar PV system.

Accelerating PACE, 2018

Roberta Sinatra, Tax Collector for the Town of Brookfield, CT, who has been a leader in her municipality’s participation in C-PACE.

 

 

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FuelCell Energy Announces Construction Financing for Project at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut

  • $23 million construction financing facility to support the 7.4 MW power plant being constructed for the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, CT 
  • Financing provided by Fifth Third Bank, a new banking relationship for FuelCell Energy

DANBURY, Conn., March 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a global leader in delivering clean, innovative and affordable fuel cell solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy, today announced the signing of a construction financing facility with Fifth Third Bank. The proceeds will be used by FuelCell Energy to finance the construction, installation and commissioning of the fuel cell power plant being built by the Company at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base located in Groton, Connecticut. The facility structure provides for aggregate principal commitments of up to $23 million. The initial draw amount under this facility, funded at closing, was approximately $10 million.

This financing enables the installation of two SureSource 4000™ power plants for the long-term supply of power. These power plants, with total output of 7.4 megawatts and located on the submarine base will supply an existing electrical substation of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) and Groton Utilities under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The fuel cell plant is part of a multifaceted plan to provide new power resources and add resiliency and grid independence to key military installations.

“This construction financing facility marks another important step for FuelCell Energy as we work to bring in cost efficient capital to support our project development and ownership. Fifth Third is a new financing partner for FuelCell Energy, and we certainly look forward to growing our relationship with Fifth Third further as we move forward,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy.

In conjunction with this loan closing, the Company also obtained commitment letters for $23.0 million of 15-year term financing to be funded upon completion of construction, subject to negotiation and execution of definitive agreements, lender due diligence, and customary closing conditions. This financing will be provided by a consortium of banks. The Connecticut Green Bank and Inclusive Prosperity Capital, a spinout and strategic partner of the Green Bank, were engaged to source the construction and permanent financing for this project.

“We are pleased to have run a successful process for FuelCell Energy, securing competitive bank financing for this project,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Green Bank. “This financing demonstrates FuelCell Energy’s ability to attract traditional project finance capital long available for solar PV, wind and hydroelectric power plants. With its vital resiliency and clean energy benefits to the CMEEC, the Navy subbase and Connecticut, we look forward to supporting the completion and operation of the project over the next fifteen plus years.”

SureSource™ power plants solve energy, environmental and business-related power generation challenges by providing ultra-clean, efficient and reliable distributed power generation. The fuel cells combine a fuel such as renewable biogas, directed biogas or clean natural gas with oxygen from the ambient air to efficiently produce ultra-clean electricity and usable high-quality heat via an electrochemical process. Customers benefit with operating cost reductions delivered in a manner that supports sustainability goals and enhances power reliability. With high availability and capacity factors, fuel cell power plants make meaningful contributions to Renewable Portfolio Standard targets. 

About FuelCell Energy

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) delivers state-of-the-art fuel cell power plants that provide environmentally responsible solutions for various applications such as utility-scale and on-site power generation, carbon capture, local hydrogen production for both transportation and industry, and long duration energy storage. Our systems cater to the needs of customers across several industries, including utility companies, municipalities, universities, government entities and a variety of industrial and commercial enterprises. With our megawatt-scale SureSource™ installations on three continents and with more than 8.0 million megawatt hours of ultra-clean power produced, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in designing, manufacturing, installing, operating and maintaining environmentally responsible fuel cell distributed power solutions. Visit us online at www.fuelcellenergy.com and follow us on Twitter @FuelCell_Energy.

SureSource, SureSource 1500, SureSource 3000, SureSource 4000, SureSource Recovery, SureSource Capture, SureSource Hydrogen, SureSource Storage, SureSource Service, SureSource Capital, FuelCell Energy, and FuelCell Energy logo are all trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Cautionary Language 

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company’s anticipated financial results and statements regarding the Company’s plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, changes to projected deliveries and order flow, changes to production rate and product costs, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, unanticipated manufacturing issues that impact power plant performance, changes in critical accounting policies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company’s ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Contact: 
FuelCell Energy
203.205.2491
[email protected]

Source: FuelCell Energy

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