Construction Nears Completion at Connecticut’s First Biogas Dairy Digester System

Fort Hill Farms digester will produce renewable energy and soil products from food waste and manure

Thompson, Conn. (Nov.  19, 2020) – Earlier this summer, ground was broken at Fort Hill Farms in Thompson to begin the construction of Connecticut’s first biogas dairy digester system that will recycle food waste and manure into renewable energy and soil products. The project is moving forward thanks to a partnership between the farm, Live Oak Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, and Ag-Grid Energy. When completed, the digester is expected to produce 550 kilowatts of electricity and reduce 25,000 tons of organic waste annually.

“I want to thank everyone who played a role in helping this first-of-its-kind project in Connecticut become a reality, from the Department of Agriculture providing funding assistance through the Farm Transition Grant for the project’s planning phase, to financing by the Green Bank,” Governor Lamont said.  “Scaling up infrastructure that manages organic waste is so critical for our state’s sustainability goals.  This innovative project is a win for our economy and our environment, and something that we hope to advance more of through DEEP’s participation in the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management, launched in August.”

Fort Hill Farms is a fourth-generation farm that currently has over 400 cows, 230 milking, and is part of two dairy farm cooperatives named The Farmer’s Cow and Agri-Mark (Cabot Cheese), which supplies products to both large, big box groceries and local markets. The farm has been regarded as “Best in New England” by Yankee Magazine, named Connecticut Tourism Ambassadors, and in 2013 was the first ever winner of Thompson’s “Business of the Year” Award. Due to their focus on local products and being named Connecticut Tourism Ambassadors, the farm is a popular destination for people to enjoy.

“Cows produce cow manure which can fertilize your gardens or make electricity for your home. This completes the circle, growing the food to feed the cows and then using cow manure to power our farm,” said Kies Orr, co-owner and operator of Fort Hill Farms. “It just feels good to be doing the right thing and being sustainable for the next generation.”

The digester project was developed by Ag-Grid Energy LLC, a company focused on anaerobic digestion technology, and is being constructed by Martin Construction Resource.

“Ag-Grid Energy is very excited to lead the installation of first dairy digester that produces renewable electricity in State of Connecticut,” said Dr. Rashi Akki, Founder and CEO of Ag-Grid Energy. “This project is a culmination of State’s supportive net-metering and food waste diversion laws.  It has also been an excellent partnership between Town of Thompson, NRCS, DEEP and Eversource to allow for permitting of this very first such installation.  We thank the City of Middletown and City of New Britain for also supporting this project by being the pioneers and purchasing the renewable electricity. We thank Connecticut Green Bank and Live Oak Bank for financially supporting this project and Ag-Grid Energy in general.”

There are a number of benefits of integrating an anaerobic digester with a dairy farm. It helps to enhance farm sustainability with improved manure management, generates an additional income stream for the farm, and produces steady electricity generation. A digester also helps reduce methane emissions coming from cow manure, improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gases.

“We are very excited to have played a role in this project’s financing, and to help a local family farm continue to find ways to become more sustainable while creating a great product and being a tourist attraction,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank. “Anytime we are involved with a ‘first’ in the state that supports our joint energy and environmental goals and opens doors to similar future projects, it’s a win for everyone.”

This project is being financed by Live Oak Bank as the senior lender, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Lender and Development Company Loan Program, a grant from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (“REAP”), a grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and the developer’s own equity investment.

“Live Oak is very grateful to assist the development of this innovative project and support the joint venture between Fort Hill Farms and Ag-Grid,” said Max Vernier, VP, Head of Bioenergy, at Live Oak. “This is another great step forward in the decarbonization of the U.S., especially for the state of Connecticut, and a flagship project led by an impressive team of experts to demonstrate the full capability of a circular economy.”

Construction is anticipated to be completed in December 2020.

 

About Ag-Grid Energy LLC

Ag-Grid Energy LLC was established by Rashi Akki on March 30, 2016 a Delaware limited liability company.  Ag-Grid Energy has a vision to drive dairy farm sustainability by converting agricultural and organic waste to energy, enhance nutrient management practices thereby improving farm viability and financial stability.  This is accomplished by partnering with dairy farms, local utilities, local food waste providers and local regulatory bodies to develop stand-alone special purpose entities that support the states mission of renewable energy and waste reduction.  For more information about Ag-Grid Energy LLC, please visit www.aggridenergy.com.

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, its mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. 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 Fort Hill Farms

Fort Hill Farms is a family-owned and-operated dairy farm located in Thompson. The farm has been active through three generations in over 70 years. We thrive on sustainability and educating people about local farming. To learn more visit https://forthillfarms.com/.

About Live Oak Bank

Live Oak was established in 2007, and we’re on a mission to be America’s small business bank.  We are proud to contribute to the growth of small businesses, drive job creation, create prosperity and boost local economies by structuring creative capital investments. Live Oak is the largest SBA lender and the largest USDA Rural Development lender in the country by volume of originations. Our project finance team has deployed over $1B in debt investments to the renewable energy sector since 2016 and will continue to accelerate the shift to sustainability.

Green Liberty Bond Named Bond Buyer Deal of the Year Finalist as the Winner in Innovative Financing Category

November 10, 2020 — The Bond Buyer announced yesterday that the Connecticut Green Bank is among the recipients of its annual Deal of the Year awards as the winner in the Innovative Financing category for their 2020 Green Liberty Bond issuance.

For the second straight year, The Bond Buyer has named winners in 10 categories: five awards in our regional areas of coverage, along with five in additional categories. All award winners are also finalists for the national Deal of the Year Award, which will be announced at a virtual event to be held Dec. 16. This is the 19th year that The Bond Buyer has recognized outstanding achievement in municipal finance.

“This year’s lineup reflects the full range of communities and public purposes this market comprises,” said Mike Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. “The deals honored exemplify the creativity and resourcefulness this industry brings to bear on projects that advance the infrastructure and quality of life in the nation’s municipalities. These qualities take on additional importance here in 2020, as issuers across the nation face unprecedented challenges.”

The Bond Buyer’s editorial board considered a range of factors when judging entries, including: creativity, the ability to pull a complex transaction together under challenging conditions, the ability to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a deal’s proceeds were used.

“We are very excited and honored to be recognized by The Bond Buyer in the Innovative Financing category for 2020,” said Lonnie Reed, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Issuing our first Green Liberty Bond during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges, however, the response from retail investors in Connecticut and across the country was incredibly positive. The desire to invest in Green Liberty Bonds is strong because it is both great for the environment and great for the green energy economy.”

The Connecticut Green Bank’s $16.8 million issuance of “Green Liberty Bonds” is this year’s Innovative Financing winner. Modeled after the Series-E War Bonds of the 1940s, this new sub-category of green bonds is sold in maximum denominations of $1,000, making them accessible to everyday citizens and retail investors.

To see all the finalists, please visit The Bond Buyer’s announcement.

Industrial Space at 75 Crystal Avenue Adds Solar Power

Energy savings, environmental commitment motivate property owner to use C-PACE financing

New London, Conn. (Sept. 29, 2020) – Thames River Properties LLC is pleased to announced the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their 75 Crystal Avenue, New London, property using Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing through the Connecticut Green Bank. Originally erected in 1965, the 35,000 square foot single story building primarily serves as rental space for industrial and commercial tenants.

“We are very much looking forward to the savings that we expect to make due to this installation,” said John Johnson, principal of Thames River Properties. “Working with Advanced Energy Efficiencies, we created a great clean energy project. Our tenants will benefit almost as much as the owner of the building. Installing roof-top solar energy panels demonstrates to our community and tenants our environmental commitment for clean, efficient energy. The Green Bank has been most helpful in this process, and we thank them for their cooperation.”

The 69.9 kilowatt (kw) system will be installed by JD Solar Solutions of Glastonbury. Over the 25-year estimated useful life of the solar panels, the installation is projected to provide more than $500,000 in electricity cost savings.

This is the second property at which Thames River’s management has used C-PACE financing through the Green Bank to install a solar system. In 2015, a solar system at Quiambaug Cove Professional Center, 107 Wilcox Road, Stonington, which provides office space for wellness, healthcare, and law practitioners, was financed using C-PACE.

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 Green’s Bank C-PACE program has financed 10 projects at diverse properties in New London, including car and motorcycle dealerships, a restaurant, office buildings and now a manufacturing space,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Financing Programs at the Green Bank. “It’s great to see building owners realizing the savings potential in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, and moving forward with these projects that immediately have a positive impact on the bottom line.”

Other building owners looking to finance energy efficiency upgrades or add solar should visit www.cpace.com to learn more.

Heat Pumps Provide Comfort and Improve Air Quality All Year

Low-rate financing combined with increased incentives makes heat pump installation more attractive

Rocky Hill, CT (Sept. 22, 2020) – Did you know that heat pumps are a great way to keep your home cool and enhance your home’s air quality? According to the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) “Air Source Heat Pump Buying Guide,” heat pumps are the best choice when trying to your reduce carbon footprint as well as filtering or dehumidifying air in your home.

Now, with summer’s heat fading and Connecticut residents looking to keep their home’s warm and improve home air quality and filtration, homeowners can address these concerns by taking advantage of heat pump technology and low-rate financing through the Energize CT Smart-E loan. Offered through the Connecticut Green Bank, select local banks and credit unions, and a network of contractors, this special limited-time Smart-E loan offer provides 2.99% financing for 5-, 7- and 10-year terms on new heat pump installations. Standard rate Smart-E Loans (4.49% – 6.99%) can be used to finance energy improvements including solar, windows, heating and cooling and other energy efficiency measures.

“When we design a special Smart-E offer, we have a number of goals in mind,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “We want to support state policies to reach environmental targets, and we want consumers to save energy and money. We also want to give our clean energy contractors resources as the green energy economy begins to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This special offer was designed to support Connecticut’s climate change plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030, and encourage adoption of energy-efficiency technologies such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and heat pump water heaters to decarbonize buildings.

“People often forget that heat pumps can perform like an air conditioning unit in the warmer months,” said Ryan F. Murphy of Ryan F. Murphy Heating and Cooling LLC in New Milford, one of the Green Bank’s “top performer” Smart-E contractors in recent years. “Heat pumps are typically twice as efficient as window units, and more efficient than conventional central AC also. In colder months, operating costs of heat pumps generally beat homes heated with oil or electric baseboard.”

“Technological advancements in recent years have greatly improved this type of heating and cooling, and we’re currently seeing thousands of cold-climate heat pumps being installed at high rates of customer satisfaction,” said Derek Koundakjian, NEEP Buildings and Technologies Associate. “On top of being highly efficient machines with a lighter carbon footprint, heat pumps effectively filter and dehumidify air, improving air quality and comfort of your home year-round.”

Smart-E borrowers must have an Energize CT Home Energy Solutions (HES) program energy assessment of their home completed to qualify for the loan. Currently, all HES assessments are available to eligible customers at no-cost. The program is also offering up to 100% off approved insulation projects recommended during the assessment.

Learn more about this special offer at https://ctgreenbank.com/smarteheatpump

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank. The Green Bank’s mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. 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 NEEP

NEEP was founded in 1996 as a non-profit whose mission is to serve the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to accelerate regional collaboration to promote advanced energy efficiency and related solutions in home, buildings, industry, and communities. Our vision is that the region’s homes, buildings, and communities are transformed into efficient, affordable, low-carbon resilient places to live, work, and play. For more information about NEEP, please visit www.neep.org

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Connecticut Green Bank sells solar projects to Skyview Ventures

Completed projects will provide energy savings to municipal properties, a nonprofit organization and an affordable multifamily housing provider

Rocky Hill, CT (August 18, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the acquisition by Skyview Ventures, a Connecticut based renewable energy investor, of six solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. The projects, developed by the Green Bank, total 1.2 megawatts of solar capacity, and will produce energy that will benefit municipal properties, a nonprofit organization and an affordable multifamily housing provider. All six projects are backed by Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and one is also secured by the Green Bank’s award-winning Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE).

“Connecticut Green Bank has a track record in developing solar PPA projects across the state that reduce the energy burden for customers, thereby freeing up budget for the services that they provide,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President. “When compared with expected utility-sourced energy, these six solar projects are anticipated to provide the customers an estimated $1.3 million in energy cost savings over the next 20 years.”

While the Green Bank Solar PPA provides businesses, nonprofits and public properties the opportunity to go solar with no money down and deliver immediate savings on their electricity costs, over the last two years, the Green Bank has redefined its role in the commercial solar PPA market. The focus is now on the development and construction of solar projects, often with underserved credits or in markets that might get overlooked for on-site solar PPA projects. These projects are then sold to owners, like Skyview, allowing the Green Bank to remain closely involved in these projects as a long-term debt provider.

“In Skyview, we have found a like-minded local partner and look forward to bringing more on-site solar power to customers in the future,” said Hunter.

“Skyview has developed and owns and operates over 50 solar PV projects in the state of Connecticut. The Green Bank’s leadership over the years has allowed the renewable energy industry in Connecticut to mature without the fits and starts of most other markets. We are a Connecticut-based company that enables community institutions to allocate their capital and resources to their core missions while benefiting from locally produced clean electricity. Working with the Green Bank has allowed us to accelerate our impact across the state and make solar power accessible to a broader range of stakeholders.” said Matt Coleman, Partner at Skyview Ventures.

The projects in this transaction were:

  • A 321 kW rooftop system at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, installed by AEC Solar.
  • A 302 kW ground mount system at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton, installed by Encon Inc. of Stratford.
  • A 119 kW rooftop system at Prescott Bush Apartments, an Elm City Communities property in New Haven, installed by PurePoint Energy LLC of Norwalk.
  • Three rooftop systems on Town of Darien buildings, totaling 215 kW, installed by Encon Inc. of Stratford.
  • A 131 kW rooftop system at Barlow Mountain Elementary School in Ridgefield, installed by Davis Hill Development.
  • A 130 kW rooftop system at Scotts Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, installed by Davis Hill Development.

About Skyview Ventures

Skyview was founded in December 2008 to pursue investment opportunities in renewable energy. Our investments fall along four themes: environmental commodities; solar project finance, development and ownership; electric vehicle infrastructure; and early-stage startups. Skyview Ventures develops renewable energy under its subsidiary Davis Hill Development (DHD). DHD has developed a broad range of renewable energy projects throughout the Eastern US and the Caribbean.  In Connecticut, DHD has developed over 50 solar projects serving over a dozen municipalities and school districts, as well as churches, non-profits, and commercial real estate customers. For more information please visit www.skyviewventures.com or www.davishilldevelopment.com.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, its mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. 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.

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/

Green Liberty Bond’s $16 Million Inaugural Issuance Sells Out

Connecticut Green Bank’s lower-dollar denomination bond received strong support from individual buyers in Connecticut and across the country as well as from institutional buyers

Rocky Hill, CT (July 27, 2020) – Earlier this month, the Connecticut Green Bank successfully sold-out of its inaugural Green Liberty Bond offering of $16,795,000 to retail and institutional investors in Connecticut and across the country. Demand was so strong that the supply of bonds could not meet the interest of those seeking to invest in Connecticut’s green economy.

Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia executes and signs the inaugural Green Liberty Bonds as Brian Farnen, Chief Legal Counsel, looks on.

Retail investors were given priority during a one-day retail order period on Tuesday, July 14. Total retail orders received during this order period surpassed $9.9 million. With first priority given to Connecticut citizen investors, their orders for nearly $5 million of bonds were filled before the national orders. Due to heavy volume of interest seeking the first two maturities, the Green Bank was only able to fill $1 million of the national retail order.

“When we conceived of the idea of the Green Liberty Bond, we wanted to develop a type of green investment that would enable everyday citizens to invest in confronting climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “Green bonds now have a new sub-category – a bond sold directly to the people the proceeds of which are independently certified as financing projects with climate and environmental benefits. We invite other issuers to use the Green Liberty Bond structure and help fulfill the demand of our American investors.”

Individuals accounted for 74% of the retail orders with the balance from professionally managed retail accounts such as private wealth managers and bank trusts.

“The level of interest from individual retail buyers was spectacular, something we have not seen in recent memory,” said Alfredo Quintero, Senior Managing Director at Ramirez & Co., the lead underwriter on the issuance. “Clearly, there is an untapped segment of investors that is concerned about environmental and social challenges that we face today.  Through this offering, the Green Bank has addressed the desire for action on the part of these individuals.”

Institutional investors were able to place orders on July 15, and there was strong interest from a variety of traditional municipal investors and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investors. Almost the entire 2027 maturity was purchased by an institutional ESG investor as a result of direct outreach by the Green Bank.

“We frequently receive requests from foundations and endowments seeking ways to invest in our Green Bank projects. Green Liberty Bonds are an ideal investment to meet this need,” observed Bert Hunter, the Green Bank’s Chief Investment Officer.  

The Green Liberty Bonds were created in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – a type of green bond whose proceeds are used to invest in projects that confront climate change in Connecticut. Modelled after the Series-E War Bonds of the 1940s, the bonds must be able to be purchased by everyday citizens through lower-dollar denominations (no more than $1,000), enabling them to invest in green projects in their community and to save for the planet.

Beyond the direct sales of the Green Liberty Bonds, Green Bank leadership received a number of inquiries from other states and non-profit organizations seeking information about replicating this product to support of other green causes like forest protection.

To launch the Green Liberty Bonds, the Green Bank worked 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 received an A rating from Standard and Poor’s. They were labeled as “Certified Climate Bonds” by the Climate Bonds Initiative, and compliance of the bond’s issuance with the Climate Bonds Standards was verified by Kestrel Verifiers.

Additionally, the Green Bank received important assistance from the staffs of the Office of the State Treasurer and of the Office of Policy and Management.

Encouraged by the success of this first issuance, the Green Bank is already planning its next Green Liberty Bond issuance, as well as looking into other ways to allow for more inclusive citizen investment in green projects. To receive notifications about future issuances, please visit www.greenlibertybonds.com.

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank. The Green Bank’s mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. 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

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.

Connecticut Green Bank Offering New Flexible Payment Options for Commercial Energy Upgrade Loans

Rocky Hill (July 23, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is offering flexible repayment options to new borrowers who use its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to make energy saving improvements. C-PACE is an innovative program which helps commercial, industrial, and non-profit property owners access affordable, long-term financing for qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. The projects are repaid through a voluntary assessment on the building owner’s property tax bill.

The Green Bank has designed these new repayment options in order to provide relief to property owners impacted by COVID-19. The repayment options will provide borrowers with immediate increased cashflow by significantly reducing operating expenses in the near term and deferring all or a portion of payments until later. Building owners will also enjoy the long-term benefits of energy efficiency or renewable energy projects (like HVAC improvements or solar PV). The

Green Bank also hopes that these options will support its contractor community, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, in generating more leads and completing more projects.

New borrowers will have the option of:

  • Deferring their first two payments on a new C-PACE assessment.
  • Making interest only payments for up to three years on a new C-PACE assessment.

With businesses facing unprecedented challenge and tighter margins, this increased cash flow could provide significant relief for businesses, who will also enjoy the long-term benefits of C-PACE (including a more modern, efficient and cost-effective building) once their position has improved.

The Green Bank’s programs support job growth and economic development in Connecticut while also benefiting families, businesses and the State as a whole. The Green Bank believes that by investing in the green economy, we can not only get Connecticut “back to normal,” but we can build cleaner, greener and more resilient communities where businesses and people flourish. Together, we can create a better more prosperous future for Connecticut.

For more information, please visit: www.cpace.com/offer

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.