Connecticut Green Bank Announces Open Request for Proposals for Green Bank Capital Solutions

Seeking to further catalyze green investment in the state, the open RFP provides access to developers and others with projects that need financial acceleration

Rocky Hill, CT (July 29, 2020) – Through its Open Request for Proposals for Green Bank Capital Solutions, the Connecticut Green Bank plans to further catalyze the green energy economy in Connecticut by providing access by project developers and others to capital. Projects financed through the RFP would either not happen or be realized at a much slower pace or with less impact without the Green Bank’s participation.

“The Open RFP for Green Bank Capital Solutions will support a variety of developers and capital providers – from emerging developers of commercially established technologies to well-established manufacturers of emerging technologies and lenders and investors of all types,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer for the Green Bank. “We’ve seen other green banks, specifically the New York Green Bank and Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, successfully use similar open and ongoing solicitations to bring in project proposals. We believe this approach in Connecticut will also produce much needed investment in our state, jobs and clean energy impact.”

The RFP is open to technologies that have already proven to be commercially viable or have demonstrated clear potential for commercial viability through well-documented feasibility studies or pilot programs with clear evidence of a viable business model and path to sustainable impact.

All proposals must support Connecticut’s goals for clean energy deployment and energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases, improved public health outcomes, job creation and economic development.

True to the green bank model, this open RFP will allow the Green Bank to leverage public dollars to bring in multiples of private investment and potentially other investment partners. It is important to note that the Open RFP is not intended to be a venture capital program nor will it seek to assume risks that do not align with the Green Bank’s mission. At its core, the Green Bank is a special purpose financial institution, with a responsibility to be good stewards of funds committed to it by statute to promote the clean energy and resiliency goals of the state.

Proposers interested in learning more can access the RFP on the Green Bank’s website: https://ctgreenbank.com/about-us/open-rfps/

Sweet Sunlight: Solar Energy to Power DiMare Pastry Shop

Using financing from Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program helps Stamford family business save money

Stamford, Conn. (July 20, 2020) – The DiMare Pastry Shop in Stamford is known for bringing sunshine into customers’ daily lives and special moments through their baked goods, cakes and cookies. Now, the family-owned and operated business will power its 12 Largo Drive South location thanks to a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their roof.

DiMare Pastry celebrated their 44th year in business in May 2020. Photo courtesy of their Facebook page

Started by Ugo and Bice DiMare in 1976, DiMare Pastry expanded to a second Stamford location in 1997. Three generations, including Ugo and Bice’s daughters Maria and Sabrina and granddaughter Brittany, now keep the two shops running.

“We’ve spent over 40 years as a family baking delicious treats for our community and making customers happy,” said Maria DiMare. “Going green with our new solar system takes some of the pressure off our business by giving us lower energy costs. We’re proud to be doing the right thing for the environment too. We want to keep baking, delighting our customers and continuing on as a long-standing partner with the towns we serve.”

“Going solar is sweet! We’re saving money, helping the environment and I think our customers appreciate how we’re leading the way into the future with our new solar system,” said Sabrina.

The 75.8 kW solar PV system was financed through the Connecticut Green Bank’s innovative Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which allows property owners to take advantage of energy upgrades immediately and pay for them over time alongside their property taxes. The solar PV system is estimated to save the business more than $20,000 a year on their electricity costs. The system was installed by 64Solar.

Drone image from 64Solar

“We are proud to see a great family business like DiMare Pastry using C-PACE to go solar,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Financing Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “Energy efficiency and renewable energy can provide many opportunities for small businesses, the backbone of our communities, to save money and help the environment. Financing these types of projects with C-PACE gives small business owners more control over their energy costs by both lowering and making them more predictable. With businesses looking more carefully at their operating expenses, additional cash flow from reduced energy costs can mean that they can focus on their core work, their employees and serving their communities.”

“We are thrilled to help DiMare Bakery go green and realize significant savings on their electricity expenses,” said James Patenaude, Director of Sales Management for 64Solar. “Working with the Connecticut Green Bank with C-PACE financing has allowed for a smooth process and will bring solar to DiMare with no initial investment required! Smart building owners are seeing the advantages of using solar energy paired with C-PACE financing to achieve their clean energy goals.”

DiMare, which remained opened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has been delivering donations to frontline workers at Stamford Hospital throughout the health crisis.

To learn more about DiMare Pastry, please visit their website at http://www.dimarepastry.com/.  For information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

About 64Solar

64Solar is a provider of comprehensive solar energy solutions. Our team manages each phase of the project – designing, developing, engineering, financing, and installing, as well as operating and maintaining. 64Solar develops and structures both utility size installations as well as Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Rooftop installations, reducing the dependency on foreign energy and fossil fuels while working towards a healthier environment for our communities. For more about 64Solar, please visit www.64solar.com.

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C-PACE Program Announces Quarter One 2020 Stats

Connecticut’s C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program continues to be successful thanks to pacesetters, the building owners, contractors, municipalities, and other stakeholders who use this innovative financing structure to make energy improvements.

In Quarter 1 of 2020, the program reached 308 total funded projects in Connecticut, and the total amount of project financing has surpassed $164 million. Building owners are continuing to find that C-PACE is an innovative way to make money-saving clean energy projects viable at their properties.

With 134 cities and towns participating in the program, building owners across the state can access C-PACE financing for projects from small to large, with the average project size cost above $500,000. Any upgrade that reduces energy costs or produces renewable energy, like solar photovoltaic systems, can qualify for C-PACE.

To learn more about how C-PACE can help your building, please visit www.cpace.com.  To see more Quarter 1 stats, go to https://www.cpace.com/quarterly

Connecticut Green Bank expands clean energy investment with Green Liberty Bond (podcast)

April 23, 2020The Bond Buyer recently interviewed Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Managing Director of Operations Eric Shrago about Green Liberty Bonds and the role this new subcategory of bond will play in expanding clean energy investment. These small-denomination retail-investor focused municipal bonds are modeled after the World War II Series E bonds, and the proceeds are independently certified to confront climate change.

Listen to The Bond Buyer podcast here.

To learn more about Green Liberty Bonds and sign-up for notifications, please visit www.greenlibertybonds.com

Smart-E Lenders Eligible to Support the Paycheck Protection Program “Step-Up” for Connecticut’s Clean Energy Industry

CorePlus Credit Union, Ion Bank, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and Union Savings Bank are available to help local clean energy contractors access federal aid

Rocky Hill, CT (April 13, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank, working in collaboration with local community banks and credit unions, is helping connect small businesses to lenders supporting the state’s clean energy industry to access federal assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Office of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Green Bank, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Eversource, and Avangrid wrapped up a series of informational webinars for small businesses in the clean energy industry on state and federal aid, including unemployment insurance and the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program

“Connecticut’s clean energy industry, which has taken decades to build, is suffering the negative impacts of this pandemic,” said Vicki Hackett, Deputy Commissioner of DEEP.  “It’s critical that we act swiftly to help our small businesses and workforce in the clean energy industry understand and access state and federal relief so that, as the current crisis subsides, they are ready and able to contribute to Connecticut’s economic recovery.”

On Friday, March 27, Congress passed, and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill to address the economy-wide impacts of COVID-19.  Included in the CARES Act is $349 billion to help small businesses stay open and provide direct incentive for them to keep their workers on the payroll through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“In order to continue our outreach, and to provide further assistance to Connecticut’s clean energy businesses, we approached our local community banks and credit unions that support the Smart-E Loan program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “A few of the Smart-E Loan program lenders are also lenders supporting the CARES Act, which is great because they can provide direct assistance for those small businesses that may or may not have a direct relationship with a financial institution that is eligible to lend under the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Although the PPP is a large federal emergency assistance program to help small businesses manage through the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut businesses are encouraged to act now to secure access to these funds. “Connecticut’s businesses should, if they haven’t done so already, look into the Paycheck Protection Program, as a way to help them manage through this crisis,” says Jorge Perez, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Banking  “Our local community banks and credit unions are here to assist you.”

The following Smart-E Loan program lenders are supporting applications to the Paycheck Protection Program:

Supporting existing and new clients:

Supporting existing clients only:

“We are working hard to help the community during this unprecedented time. Our ability to lend through the SBA and offer assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program have been really valuable to businesses in the community,” said Nutmeg Credit Union CEO John Holt.

Administered by the Green Bank in partnership with nine local lenders (community banks, credit unions and a community development financial institution), the Smart-E Loan offers long-term, low-cost financing for more than 40 qualifying energy improvements. A network of over 500 eligible local contractors completes these upgrades, including insulation, windows, efficient heating and cooling, electric vehicle home charging stations, and solar systems.

 

 

COVID-19 Update

Dear Value Stakeholders:
In this challenging, rapidly-changing time, we wanted to again assure you that the Green Bank is doing its best to support the essential contractors, communities, customers and capital providers that we do business with, and our teams are available to answer questions, provide information, manage transactions, and participate in remote meetings and calls. 

We expect to continue to operate remotely through April 22, 2020, in line with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7H, and until further notice.  We would advise all of our Connecticut-based stakeholders to remain updated on COVID-19 through the Office of Governor Lamont as well as the official COVID-19 state website.

We will continue to follow Governor Lamont’s instructions during this pandemic.

Also, in order to assist our heroic public health workers during this period of time, we wanted to see if any contractors have any Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., N95 respirators, face and surgical masks, face shields, gloves, protective clothing, etc.).  There are shortages of PPE, which can protect our public health workers who are providing healthcare during this COVID-19 epidemic.  If you can help, please do so (click here).   

We continue to assess the Connecticut market and beyond to better understand and anticipate potential impact, problems and solutions, as we all manage through the COVID-19 situation. We remain committed to strengthening our communities by supporting your businesses that are critical to making the benefits of the green economy inclusive and accessible to all individuals, families, and organizations.

Our stakeholders, including essential contractors, customers, and capital providers, may receive emails dealing with specific programmatic details shortly from specific Green Bank teams with whom you work directly.

In the meantime, remember that we can work through this together in the days ahead. Feel free to reach out with any questions or contact your Green Bank program teams (see email addresses below).
 
Thank you,

Bryan Garcia
President & CEO, Connecticut Green Bank


Green Bank program email addresses:

Connecticut Green Bank presents PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 12, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank has announced the winners of the 2019 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 fifth 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 qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that are repaid through a voluntary assessment on the building owner’s property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses achieve lower energy costs and increase their bottom-line. The Green Bank announced last month that it had surpassed a total of 300 closed C-PACE projects in 2019, crediting much of this success to PACEsetters and other dedicated supporters of the program.

“The growth of C-PACE is thanks to the efforts of contractors, municipal officials, capital providers, property owners and other stakeholders who have all come together and leveraged this innovative financing tool to build a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank.

The Green Bank acknowledged contractors, building owners and other stakeholders across multiple categories for their work in 2019:

 Top Performer, 2019

  • Green Earth Energy, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in East Windsor who closed 10 C-PACE projects in 2019, the most of any contractor in the C-PACE program for this year;

Outstanding Project, 2019

  • Verogy, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in Hartford, CT and L.C. Doane Company, a manufacturer of shipboard lighting based in Essex, CT, for their 202 kW solar PV project which received funding from Energy on the Line (a program offered by Connecticut Green Bank in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund) and was financed with C-PACE;

  • Con Edison Solutions a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor with offices in Danbury, CT & Mutual Security Credit Union, a community based financial institution and one of the top performers in the Green Bank’s residential Smart-E Loans program, for their solar project – a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) secured through C-PACE – at their branch location at 97 Newtown Road in Danbury, CT;

Accelerating PACE, 2019:

  • Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, a real estate company based in South Norwalk and 64 Solar, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in Port Chester, NY who lead by example and have shared their story to demonstrate how a partnership between a portfolio building owner and solar PV developer can lead to increased solar PV deployment;

Recently, the Green Bank announced the Charge Up CT Buildings initiative, through which building owners closing on C-PACE financing for qualifying projects can receive up to three free electric vehicle charging stations. For more information, property owners can visit chargeupct.com.

Smart-E Loan Top Performers for 2019 Honored

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, the 18 Smart-E Loan “Top Performers” of 2019 were honored at the Connecticut Green Bank in Rocky Hill. These 18 contractors are headquartered and serve customers across the state, from New Milford to North Stonington and South Windsor to Stratford, and include HVAC, home performance and solar-focused companies. In 2019, the Top Performers helped over 300 Connecticut families make home energy improvements – allowing them to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and live more comfortably in their homes.

In partnership with nine participating local lenders, the Top Performers’ projects equaled $4.1 million in closed Smart-E Loans. Financed projects include insulation and window upgrades, solar, high efficiency heating and cooling solutions, and more; all helping the state of Connecticut work towards meeting its climate change plan, which focuses on three mitigation wedges: decarbonizing electricity generation, decarbonizing transportation, and decarbonizing buildings.

Out of more than 400 contractors who participate in the program, the Smart-E Loan Top Performers were chosen based on criteria including more than just closed loans (though each had many!). The contractors scheduled in-person Smart-E training for their staff, used Smart-E marketing materials, developed partnerships with Smart-E lenders, and avoided inspection issues. These 18 contractors embraced the Smart-E Loan in 2019, utilizing the flexibility of the product to best serve their customers across the state.

The 2019 Top Performers (in alphabetical order)

Connecticut Green Bank Surpasses 300th C-PACE Project

Rocky Hill, CT (Feb. 25, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced today that the state’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program surpassed 300 closed projects at the end of 2019, reaching a total of more than $163 million in clean energy financing investment in local businesses. C-PACE is an innovative program that helps commercial, industrial and multifamily property owners access affordable, long-term financing to make smart energy upgrades to their buildings that can create immediate savings.

According to PACENation, the non-profit industry group that promotes Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, only California and Ohio had more total investment deployed through the end of 2019 using C-PACE than Connecticut.

“As Connecticut passes the 300 project milestone, the state continues to lead the C-PACE market it helped to pioneer,” said Colin Bishopp, PACENation’s Executive Director. “Their innovative approach serves as a template for other states continuing the adoption of C-PACE.”

These closed projects will provide an estimated lifetime energy cost savings of $271 million, created 1,797 direct and indirect job years, and reducing energy usage by five million MMBTUs through efficiency upgrades and renewables, which resulted in over 39 megawatts of installed solar PV capacity.

“The growth of C-PACE is thanks to the efforts of contractors, municipal officials, capital providers, property owners and other stakeholders who have all come together and leveraged this innovative financing tool to build a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank. “Working together to lower the energy burden on businesses and nonprofits is a key piece of the Green Bank’s vision.”

A new campaign, Charge Up CT Buildings, was launched in January and can provide free electric vehicle charging stations to building owners completing qualified projects using Green Bank C-PACE financing. Applications are due by May 15, 2020.

For more information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

Green Bank’s Solar MAP makes it easier for municipalities to go solar

New program is providing a roadmap for Connecticut’s towns and cities to go green

Rocky Hill, CT (Feb. 4, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is making it easier for municipalities to access renewable energy and achieve energy savings at their buildings through the Solar Municipal Assistance Program (MAP). Solar MAP simplifies every step of the process so towns and cities can realize all the cost-saving benefits of going solar with fewer challenges and roadblocks. Partnering with CSW Energy, who was chosen through a competitive process, the Green Bank is currently providing technical support to over 20 municipalities to develop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects on municipal buildings, such as town halls, emergency services buildings, schools, and more. Connecticut Green Bank will provide financing for the solar systems through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Since 2014, the Green Bank Solar PPA has allowed municipalities to install solar on municipal buildings with no upfront installation costs, no new debt to incur, and no operations and maintenance costs. Through the PPA, the municipality purchases the electricity generated by the solar array, and locks in low electricity cost so the cash flow is positive in year one.

The Solar MAP enhances the Green Bank Solar PPA by offering analysis of a municipality’s portfolio of buildings and identifying the best opportunities for solar. The service includes review of municipal building energy demand, developing system designs, negotiating the terms of a contract with a solar installer, and securing financing through the Green Bank Solar PPA. For municipalities that have considered adding solar in the past but needed more guidance to navigate the process, Solar MAP is the solution. Met with a lot of interest, the Green Bank is wrapping up introductory meetings across the state and looking forward to discovering the solar potential in each community.

“While everyone in the community benefits from the services provided by public buildings, state and municipal properties have a significant environmental footprint,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank. “When government buildings take advantage of solar energy, they take the first step towards creating a cleaner, greener future for their communities while also reducing the burden of energy costs. The Green Bank Solar PPA unlocks the potential for solar to bring our communities together and make them more resilient.”

The Town of Coventry is one municipality that has been reaping the benefits of the Green Bank Solar PPA for several years. In total, Coventry has installed 582.5 kW of solar PV across six rooftops and two carports using the Green Bank Solar PPA.

“Our community is using solar energy at town buildings including our schools, public safety buildings and our Town Hall – and the Green Bank Solar PPA has made it easy and affordable,” said John Elsesser, Town Manager for Coventry. “The town is saving money, and since we’re not responsible for managing and addressing performance systems through the PPA, we’re enjoying stress free energy production. This is allowing the town to play an integral role in building a cleaner community and in setting an example for our homeowners and businesses who are interested in going solar.”

“Solar MAP is geared towards towns and cities that lack the resources for solar procurement internally and would require technical assistance to put solar on municipal sites,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Programs. “We heard from municipal leaders who want the benefits of solar energy for their properties, but faced many challenges when getting started. This program was created to simplify the process and provide a comprehensive look at the towns solar potential.”

The Solar MAP can also help municipalities earn points through Sustainable CT, a program designed to make an impact on sustainability in communities across the state. Sustainable CT is helping the Green Bank to educate towns and cities about Solar MAP. “We are thrilled the Green Bank has added yet another tool to help towns and cities take action on sustainability” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director for the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, which runs the Sustainable CT Program.

For more information on the program or to have someone contact you about participation, please visit ctgreenbank.com/solarmap/.