Green Liberty Bond Offers New Opportunity for Individuals to Invest in Connecticut’s Green Energy Economy

Connecticut Green Bank’s lower-dollar denomination bond is designed to encourage individual investors to confront climate change

Rocky Hill, CT (June 30, 2020) – To encourage Connecticut residents to be active in the global clean energy movement to confront climate change and strengthen our state’s green economy, the Connecticut Green Bank will be launching a new sub-category of green bonds – the Green Liberty Bond. Green Liberty Bonds are lower-dollar denomination bonds available to individual investors, the proceeds of which will be independently certified as financing projects with climate and environmental benefits.

It is anticipated that retail investors will be able to place orders for the initial $16 million Green Liberty Bonds on or about July 14, 2020, with institutional investors able to place orders on the following day.

“We wanted to create a financial instrument that allows Americans to invest in the climate economy and the future they want to see,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Through Green Liberty Bonds, residents can save for themselves and their families while supporting clean energy projects here in Connecticut that confront climate change. We envision a world empowered by the renewable energy of community, and by providing this investment opportunity in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are aligning investors with that vision.”

Modeled after the World War II Series-E bonds, which were purchased by more than 80 million Americans, Green Liberty Bonds are an opportunity for investors to take on the shared challenge of climate change through the purchase of bonds.

To launch the Green Liberty Bonds, the Green Bank is working with Ramirez & Co., Inc. as lead underwriter, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. as co-underwriter, Shipman & Goodwin LLP as bond counsel, Lamont Financial Services Corporation as financial advisor, and Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A. as trustee.

The Green Liberty Bonds are expected to be labeled “Certified Climate Bonds” by the Climate Bonds Initiative, and compliance of the bond’s issuance with the Climate Bonds Standards will be verified by Kestrel Verifiers.

“We are excited to be part of the issuance of this new type of green bond with a focus on bringing retail investors to the table,” said Brad Friedman, Senior Vice President, Ramirez & Co., Inc. 

While the Green Liberty Bond will be a new offering for the Connecticut Green Bank, the organization has previously issued three privately placed bonds, and the 2019 bond was recognized by Environmental Finance for innovative green bond of the year and green bond asset backed security of the year.

To help inform residents about the Green Bank’s mission and programs, including the Green Liberty Bond, Green Bank Board of Directors Chairwoman Lonnie Reed and Bryan Garcia will host two informational webinars: one on Thursday, July 2 from 12 – 1 pm, and one on Tuesday, July 7 from 7 – 8 pm. The Preliminary Official Statement, notifications and webinar registration information can be found at www.greenlibertybonds.com.

 

Disclaimer

This press release does not constitute a recommendation or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument, including the initial Green Liberty Bonds, or to adopt any investment strategy. Any offer or solicitation with respect to the initial Green Liberty Bonds will be made solely by means of the Preliminary Official Statement and Official Statement, which will describe the actual terms and conditions of the Green Liberty Bonds. The information provided is subject in all respects to the information presented in the complete Preliminary Official Statement prepared in connection with the initial Green Liberty Bonds. Any investment decisions regarding any of the Green Liberty Bonds should only be made after a careful review of the complete Preliminary Official Statement.

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Financial partnership expands energy-efficiency loan pool for Connecticut homeowners

Capital for Change, Amalgamated Bank, Connecticut Green Bank team up to boost successful loan program

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (May 8, 2020) – An innovative collaboration among three financial entities has set the stage for more Connecticut homeowners to gain access to energy-efficiency loans while reducing costs up to 20 percent for many utility ratepayers.

The collaboration is among Capital for Change Inc., Connecticut’s largest full-service, nonprofit community development financial institution; Amalgamated Bank; and the Connecticut Green Bank.

“This new financial model is one of the few – if not the only – such arrangements in the United States helping to boost the growth of unsecured loans supporting consumer energy-efficiency and solar loans,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President at the Green Bank.

“The model has proven to be a unique means of maximizing the leverage of ratepayer capital in achieving the state’s energy goals,” Hunter said.

“We’re deeply pleased to participate in what we believe is a new financial model for positive community development,” said Calvin B. Vinal, President and CEO of Capital for Change Inc., Connecticut’s largest full-service, nonprofit community development financial institution.

“This will allow us to make more funds available for energy-efficient and solar housing improvements in Connecticut,” Vinal said. “Participating utility ratepayers will see savings on their energy bills of 10 to 20 percent, depending on the energy measures installed and fuel source.”

“We are proud to join the Connecticut Green Bank and Capital for Change Inc. in providing energy efficiency loans to Connecticut residents,” said Keith Mestrich, president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank.

“As America’s socially responsible bank, we believe that our deposits can be used for creating a more sustainable planet and this collaboration affords us an opportunity to expand our impact,” Mestrich said.

The partnership has made available a $27 million line of credit for the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Finance Company (CEEFCo) leveraged by CEEFCo’s ratepayer funding and unsecured loan portfolio, allowing CEEFCo’s portfolio to grow to $36 million. CEEFCo is a nonprofit subsidiary of Capital for Change.

The new model allows CEEFCo to continue to grow its loan portfolio while minimizing the need for additional ratepayer capital, Hunter and Vinal said.

Financing arrangements closed in late December 2019 and took effect in February, Vinal said. At CEEFCo’s inception in 2011, initial funding was provided through legislative mandate by Connecticut energy utility Eversource, using approximately $17 million collected from ratepayers over 10 years. 

With $12.1 million of this capitalization remaining, ratepayer funding has leveraged production of 6,000 loans for $51 million of capital funding at a cost of $5 million. In the past several years, this portfolio of unsecured loans went from $12 million to $24 million, and their earlier financial partner stopped lending.

“We required a different financing model to accommodate the need, which the Green Bank understood and so introduced us to Amalgamated Bank,” said Vinal.

“We’re extremely grateful that Amalgamated appreciates the quality of our portfolio and the impact we’re having on households throughout Connecticut, and that the Green Bank responded with its own support to make it work,” Vinal said.

“In the past several years, our portfolio of unsecured loans went from $12 million to $24 million, and our earlier financial partner stopped lending,” Vinal said. “We required a different financing model to accommodate the need, which the Greenbank understood and so introduced us to Amalgamated Bank.

Amalgamated is providing $22.5 million of funding and the Connecticut Green Bank $4.5 million, with the funding secured only by CEEFCo’s assets.

“This model has proven to be a unique means of maximizing the leverage of ratepayer capital in achieving the state’s energy goals,” Vinal said.

“It’s a great collaboration with financing institutions that support community development and energy sustainability,” Vinal said. “It provides us the liquidity needed to continue to grow that portfolio and provide Connecticut residents more opportunities to save on their energy costs.”

The concept also has broad positive implications for the state’s economy, he said.

“Nationwide, the energy sector is providing jobs in numbers that are similar to those in the automotive industry, led by solar and energy efficiency,” Vinal said. “By promoting energy efficiency, proactive financial models such as this one are helping to improve the environment, create local jobs and save homeowners money.  ”

An extensive resource focusing on energy efficiency in Connecticut – including loan options – is maintained by the utility partnership Energize Connecticut at its website, EnergizeCT.com.

Learn more about Capital for Change at https://www.capitalforchange.org/ and more about Amalgamated Bank can be found at  AmalgamatedBank.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

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Connecticut Green Bank wins two awards from Environmental Finance for green bond issuance

March 30, 2020 — When Environmental Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards winners were announced earlier this week, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized with two honors:  the Award for Innovation – Green Bond Structure and the Award for Asset-Backed or Asset-Based Bond. These awards highlight the innovation and success of the Green Bank’s April 2019 $38.6 million in green asset backed securities, which was its first rated debt issuance, and the first ever solar asset-backed security (ABS) transaction by a green bank. The awards were judged by an independent panel comprising of 30 of the world’s largest green, social and sustainability bond investors.

To read more about this award winning issuance, please visit Environmental Finance’s article.

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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:
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Green Development at Repurposed Properties using C-PACE Financing

Spinnaker Real Estate Partners Goes Solar with C-PACE

How does an outdated engineering plant become a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient sports facility? And how is an industrial complex repurposed into a home for makers, artisans, and manufacturers?

Through innovative C-PACE financing,  Norwalk-based Spinnaker Real Estate Partners has harnessed the power of solar to reduce operating costs, exceed industry standards in sustainability, and give new life – and purpose – to older buildings.

Spinnaker is a privately owned real estate company engaged in the acquisition, development, ownership, and management of commercial properties and multi-unit housing communities for almost 70 years. With a focus on urban redevelopment opportunities, Spinnaker has a passion for projects that connect people, housing, business, jobs, and recreation. In fact, since taking over the business over three decades ago, chairman and CEO Clay Fowler has focused on a commitment to resilient and sustainable
building practices.

However, updating the energy profile of older buildings to lower energy use and improve operations is a challenge that can tie up capital and reduce the  return on investment that Spinnaker and its investment partners expect. That’s why 64 Solar, specialists in designing energy-saving solar systems for commercial real estate, suggested that C-PACE financing from the Connecticut Green Bank would be the perfect fit for Spinnaker.

Watch the case study video or download the PDF through the icon below to learn more.

Download
Spinnaker Case Study
 

 

Available for any type of commercial property, C-PACE gives building owners a way to work with contractors to design custom projects that save both money and energy through upgrades ranging from heating, cooling, and insulation to lighting and solar. Unlike self-funding or a more traditional loan product, building owners can leverage C-PACE’s long financing terms and low rates to spread payments out over time and immediately realize positive cash flow. Because energy savings are designed to offset repayment terms, using C-PACE means more money is freed up for whatever opportunities come a building owner’s way.

The details about Spinnaker’s solar project at Glenbrook Road in Stamford are shown in graphic below.

To learn more about C-PACE, click here.

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Connecticut Green Bank offers financing for remediation of health and safety issues that prevent energy upgrades

Single and multifamily properties can benefit from low interest rate loans to remove mold, asbestos and other issues

 

Rocky Hill, CT (Nov. 21, 2019) – In Connecticut, 58% of the housing stock was built prior to 1969, according to the Partnership for Strong Communities, and this older housing stock can often present problems to home owners and residents. Along with structural and code violations from possible deferred maintenance over time, there is potential for the presence of health and safety issues, like mold and asbestos. The existence of these hazards can also make energy assessments, and related efficiency improvements, impossible. To help implement home energy upgrades and remediate health and safety problems, the Connecticut Green Bank and its partners are offering special low interest rate financing solutions for single- and multi-family homeowners.

For owner-occupied 1-4 family properties, the Smart-E Loan program now allows asbestos and mold remediation to be financed in full (up to $25,000) when completed with an Energize CT Home Energy Solutions (HES) program assessment or other energy-related improvements.

“Mold or asbestos in a home prevents blower door guided air sealing, which is an important part of the HES program,” said Lorenzo Wyatt, owner of Home Comfort Practice. “If we can’t complete this part of the assessment, home owners can’t access the full benefits of efficiency improvements, not to mention the obvious negative health implications.”

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.

“We heard concerns from contractors who are often unable to complete home energy assessments and make recommendations for more comprehensive energy efficiency improvements because of mold or asbestos, especially in low-to-moderate income households,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank. “We understand that to provide all of society with a healthier, more prosperous future through the green economy, our financing programs must address these critical issues.”

Smart-E Loan terms range from 5-20 years, with associated not-to-exceed rates fixed between 4.49% – 6.99%. Loan amounts range from $500 – $40,000, though several of the participating community banks do not lend over $25,000. Through June 30, 2019, participating Smart-E Lenders closed 4,266 loans for $65.4 million in financed projects.

For multifamily property owners, particularly those serving low- and moderate-income residents, the Green Bank offers the Energize CT Health and Safety Revolving Loan Fund. This loan was designed to address a wide range of health and safety issues, including mold, asbestos, lead, knob-and-tube wiring, radon, and leaky roofs, that block the way to full energy improvements.

Created thanks to $1.5 million of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) dollars from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Green Bank has already financed projects with these funds. One example is Success Village, a 924-unit housing co-operative in Bridgeport and Stratford. The $165,000 loan will cover a phase one pilot that includes asbestos removal from piping on the central heating system which was installed in the 1960s. Completion of the pilot will inform design, engineering and implementation of health and safety and energy upgrades for the full property.

“We are seeing significant energy, maintenance and other cost savings on properties that replace old, inefficient HVAC equipment, weatherize building envelopes or add solar,” said Kim Stevenson, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Inclusive Prosperity Capital, the non-profit that manages the Multifamily Program on behalf of the Green Bank. “These savings also improve the living environment for residents and improve property values.  We strongly encourage owners to evaluate their buildings for missed savings opportunities.” 

The Energize CT Health and Safety Loan fund offers financing of $10,000 to $300,000 (waivers for larger loans are possible) with terms up to 20 years at 2.99%.

To learn more about these loans, visit https://ctgreenbank.com/smartehealthsafety/ and https://ctgreenbank.com/programs/multifamily/energizect-health-safety-loan/.

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Using Sunshine to Make Stencils: Stencil Ease Goes Solar

First commercial/industrial property in Old Saybrook to use C-PACE financing

 

Old Saybrook, Conn. (Oct. 7, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and Greenho Enterprises are pleased to announce the closing of a financing agreement that will allow Stencil Ease, located at 7 Center Road West in Old Saybrook, to generate over 90 percent of their business electricity needs from a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their roof. Stencil Ease is the largest specialty stencil manufacturing company in the United States, producing stencils from one-off custom to production runs in excess of 100,000 units.

“When I moved Stencil Ease to Old Saybrook in 1997, we bought our first piece of manufacturing equipment and have been vertically integrated ever since,” said Brian Greenho. “I sold the business to private equity in 2015 and the new owner group has built on the legacy of stencil manufacturing and being able to ship any of 55,000 items anywhere in the world in 24-48 hours. Through my commercial real estate and solar development company, Greenho Enterprises, LLC, I wanted to make an environmentally conscious decision to globally reduce overall consumption of fossil fuels.”

This 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art laser cutting facility is the first commercial/industrial business in town to use Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing provided by the Connecticut Green Bank. The 72 kilowatt (kw) system consisting of 208 roof top panels will be installed by Smart Roofs Solar of Newtown.

C-PACE allows property owners to install energy efficiency upgrades or renewables on their buildings without upfront costs using financing that is repaid through the town’s property tax billing system as a benefit assessment akin to a water or sewer assessment. Through C-PACE, energy savings projections help building owners to feel confident that expected savings should exceed their investment and result in positive cashflow. The project’s gross installed cost is $215,000, and the expected average annual energy cost savings over 20 years is estimated at about $20,000 a year. Stencil Ease is also a beneficiary of an Energy on the Line grant of $14,081, a program developed in partnership with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to provide Connecticut manufacturers with even greater net energy savings from a C-PACE project.

“Connecticut is home to many great manufacturers, from submarines to stencils and everything in between, and our C-PACE program is helping them reduce their energy costs,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “With a lower energy burden, these businesses can focus on their products and services, while increasing their bottom line.”

Greenho hopes to realize further green energy improvements to the property in the future.

“By 2021, the building will have electric vehicle charging stations enabling employees to charge their cars directly from the sun,” said Greenho.

 

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

About Stencil Ease

Stencil Ease is the largest specialty stencil manufacturing company in the USA. Since 1980, our focus and dedication to manufacturing stencils, be it large-scale industrial, custom stencil or decorative painting stencil, has separated us from all others. Our web site offers an unlimited selection of designs, sizes, material options and customization options. Learn more at https://www.stencilease.com/pages/about-us.

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Seabury Cooperative receives financing to preserve and improve their property

UHAB, HDF and the Connecticut Green Bank partner to provide technical assistance and financing to increase housing cooperative’s viability

 

New Haven, Conn. (Aug. 13, 2019) – The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) announces the closing of an initial loan that is the first installment of a more than $500,000 operating bridge loan for Seabury Cooperative. Located at the corner of Elm and Howe Streets in New Haven, Seabury Cooperative is a two-building complex with 88 affordable apartments. The UHAB financing also allows the Housing Development Fund (HDF) and the Connecticut Green Bank to provide further pre-development financial support for energy- and health/safety-related design and improvements. Together, this financing will help preserve important affordable housing in the city by increasing occupancy, improving the property, and reducing energy costs.

“Creating and preserving cooperative housing like Seabury is our mission” said Andrew Reicher, Executive Director of UHAB. “We are excited that our training, technical assistance and bridge lending could help preserve this important affordable housing resource in New Haven.”

Built in 1973, Seabury has all electric HVAC systems. As the property has aged, the electricity costs have risen significantly (50% from 2013 to 2015). Under this strain, residents reached out to their utility provider, the United Illuminating Company (UI), who conducted an energy audit and referred them to the Connecticut Green Bank for technical and financing assistance.

“The resident-owners of Seabury are excited to move ahead with long needed improvements to our home,” said Demetria Lindsey, President of the Cooperative Board. “We are looking for families and seniors of low or moderate income who would like to be part of our community.”

The Green Bank and UHAB began working together to help Connecticut cooperatives in late 2017. This partnership includes technical assistance to individual cooperatives as well as outreach to the affordable cooperatives in the state. Working with the Connecticut Housing Coalition they held a statewide training for cooperative boards members in the spring of 2018 and continue to provide technical assistance at properties facing high energy costs.

The financing from HDF and the Green Bank will be used to cover the costs of pre-development work necessary to secure permanent financing for the project. This will include the contracting of an architectural and engineering team to plan and design the replacement of the HVAC systems, evaluating the addition of roof insulation and new windows, investigate other energy and health and safety issues, and bidding out the construction work.

“HDF is proud to be partnered with UHAB and The Connecticut Green Bank on this project,” said Joan Carty, President and CEO of HDF. “It is a great example of like-minded organizations coming together to simultaneously improve energy efficiency and preserve desperately needed affordable housing for the residents of the Seabury Cooperative.”

“The partnership between UHAB and the Green Bank is a natural fit,” said Kim Stevenson, Director of Multifamily Programs at the Green Bank. “We are focused on helping residents and property owners reduce their energy expenses through the financing of renewables and efficiency projects. UHAB understands cooperatives and how to train residents on key skills needed to manage their properties. Together, we are making a difference in the long-term sustainability and financial viability of these important communities.”

Limited equity co-ops like Seabury provide home ownership opportunities that are permanently affordable in communities that are increasingly unaffordable to low-income households. Having provided affordable housing for nearly 50 years, this co-op will be rehabbed and updated focusing particularly on energy, health and safety measures, and will be able to provide affordable home ownership for another 50 years. Co-ops are an affordable housing solution that lasts.

The New Haven Independent wrote a follow-up article about the work at Seabury. Read the article here.

About UHAB

The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board was born in the midst of New York City’s economic crisis of the 1970s. With landlords abandoning their buildings en masse, the city found itself with more than 11,000 buildings on hand and no idea what to do with them. UHAB became a voice for the residents living in those buildings – longtime New Yorkers who had no intention of leaving. Turning buildings over to their residents to manage began as an experiment. But soon the city was convinced that this revolutionary approach could be sustained. The first year UHAB offered training, in Harlem, residents of 200 buildings learned how to cooperatively govern and operate their own multi-family dwellings. UHAB has now assisted in the preservation of more than 1,600 buildings (comprising 1,350 housing cooperatives), creating homeownership opportunities for residents of more than 30,000 apartments. For more information, please visit http:\\www.uhab.org.

About the Housing Development Fund (HDF)

The Housing Development Fund, Inc was established in 1989 as a nonprofit organization to finance the development of affordable housing in Stamford, CT. Today we have offices in Stamford, Bridgeport, and Danbury providing unique lending products and free homeownership counseling. With more than $120 million in funds under management, our programs include the pre-development, acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of affordable housing, as well as down-payment and closing cost assistance loan programs for low- and moderate-income families. Our service area includes the entire state of Connecticut as well as the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Putnam, and Westchester counties in New York state, the five boroughs of New York City, and a recent expansion into Massachusetts. For more information, please visit hdfconnects.org.

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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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 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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