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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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

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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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Free EV Charging Stations for Commercial Properties Financing Efficiency Projects through C-PACE

Charge Up CT Buildings campaign pairs growing EV demand with need for property efficiency

Rocky Hill, Conn. (Jan. 14, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to launch Charge Up CT Buildings, a new initiative that offers free electric vehicle charging stations to commercial property owners who use Connecticut Green Bank C-PACE financing to improve the energy efficiency of their building. Property owners who apply for C-PACE financing by May 15, 2020 may be eligible for this limited time promotion. Property owners are encouraged to contact the Green Bank early to start the application process.

C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative financing tool that allows building owners to access 100% financing for energy improvements, realize positive cash flow immediately, and create more comfortable, efficient buildings. Hundreds of property owners across Connecticut have already taken advantage of C-PACE to finance energy-saving upgrades and Charge Up CT Buildings offers another incentive to attract new property owners to learn about the benefits of C-PACE.

A broad range of properties can benefit from this initiative, including retail spaces, nonprofit organizations, houses of worship, recreational facilities, restaurants, manufacturers, hotels, and other non-residential properties. C-PACE addresses the needs of businesses of all sizes – from owner-occupied buildings to portfolio real estate owners like Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, who the Green Bank recently profiled.

Through Charge Up CT Buildings, building owners will not only make their buildings more modern and attractive, but their customers, tenants, and employees will be able to charge up and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. An EV charging station can help owners and businesses to distinguish their property from others, showing leadership and commitment to sustainability.

The number of electric vehicles on the road in Connecticut continues to grow year-over-year. With over 13,000 electric vehicles registered to date, and a projected 125,000 to 150,000 vehicles by 2025, there is growing demand for more electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This creates an opportunity for property owners to offer their customers or employees EV recharging as an additional amenity.

“Connecticut Green Bank is committed to promoting the growth of electric vehicles in Connecticut, and that includes supporting the development of a more resilient EV charging infrastructure that is suited to handle increasing demand” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank. “We see this initiative as having many benefits to building owners, tenants, employees and customers – as well as to our communities. Property owners who choose to host electric vehicle charging stations are not only doing something positive to promote and grow their businesses, they’re also doing something positive for Connecticut and playing an important role in building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future where our state has a robust electric vehicle charging infrastructure and where we are all less reliant on fossil fuels.”

To qualify for a free EV charging station, energy saving projects must utilize at $150,000 in Green Bank C-PACE financing with at least 20% of the total project costs going toward non-renewable measures. Larger projects may be eligible to receive up to three electric vehicle charging stations. Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE team will work with building owners to determine if their project is eligible for the C-PACE program and Charge Up CT Buildings incentive.

“This initiative simultaneously addresses two of the state’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions: transportation and commercial/industrial properties,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President, Financing Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “Through Charge Up CT Buildings, the Green Bank is re-investing in the buildings of property owners who use C-PACE financing. The cost of the EV charging stations offered through this initiative will be offset by future interest income generated by the C-PACE financing – and by repurposing this future income into an electric vehicle charging station, these properties will create an even bigger impact on reducing emissions. Not only is the Green Bank enabling building owners to take control of their energy costs and save money, we’re also helping them to position their business and our community for future success.”

Building owners are invited to an open house about Charge Up CT Buildings on Wednesday, March 25 at J Roos, 243 State Street, North Haven. Pre-registration is required at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/charge-up-ct-building-owner-open-house-tickets-86918556743?aff=PR

For more information about the initiative, please visit chargeupct.com or call 866-324-0099.

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New Report Highlights Connecticut’s Solar For All Program as an Example of Clean Energy Policy Innovation

Report Details Key State Efforts to Expand Clean Energy since 2015

 

Connecticut is highlighted in the newly released report, Returning Champions: State Clean Energy Leadership Since 2015, by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a national, nonprofit coalition of state agencies and other public organizations. The report provides a comprehensive look at the ways in which states are advancing clean energy and suggests how to further encourage growth. Insert a sentence at the end of this paragraph which briefly summarizes the clean energy developments in your states, as recognized within the CESA report. Connecticut was recognized for the Solar For All program with PosiGen and its solar incentive for low-and-moderate income homeowners.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of 21 innovative models states are using to grow clean energy markets nationwide,” said Isabelle Hazlewood, manager at the Green Bank. “The Connecticut Solar for All program is a shining example of how public-private partnerships can expand access to clean energy for underserved communities and achieve inclusive prosperity in the clean energy economy.”

View the Full Report 

Returning Champions describes the many important ways that states across the nation are supporting clean energy generation and markets. The report highlights 21 case studies from 19 states, covering a variety of state programs such as r community solar, low-income solar access, bioenergy, renewable heating and cooling technologies, energy storage, offshore wind, and renewable thermal.

The report’s four thematic chapters emphasize the most important issues that the states have been focusing on over the past few years:

  • Setting more aggressive goals for renewable energy electricity generation, for carbon-free energy, and for energy storage.
  • Supporting markets for emerging technologies, including offshore wind, electric vehicles, air source heat pumps, battery storage, microgrids, hydropower from irrigation systems, and advanced biomass and biogas systems.
  • Modernizing the electricity grid to incorporate variable sources of electricity generation, distributed generation, and electric vehicles efficiently and cost-effectively, as well as efforts to replace fossil fuels for heating.
  • Focusing on fairness and equity for clean energy to ensure that low- and moderate-income households can access the benefits of clean energy and to put appropriate consumer protection measures in place.

CESA Executive Director Warren Leon, the report’s lead author, summarizes the overall role of the states: “The United States is experiencing a transition to clean energy in great part because states have been able to propel clean energy policy implementation, and because governors, legislators, and state agency staff have provided leadership, innovation, and funding to support the transformation of the energy sector to cleaner and more reliable technologies.” He added, “It is important to recognize the achievements of Connecticut’s clean energy programs and those of other states so that public support for these programs continues and additional progress is made.”

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

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

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

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

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

A Regional Leader and National Model

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

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

Environmental Outcomes Measured by Metrics

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

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

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

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

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

Future Issuances

The Green Bank has plans for future issuances.

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

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

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

 

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Connecticut Green Bank sells $38.6 million in monetized solar home renewable energy credits (SHRECs)

First-of-its-kind issuance is backed by more than 14,000 residential solar systems

Rocky Hill, CT (April 9, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the sale of $38.6 million investment-grade rated ABS notes. This innovative first-of-its-kind issuance monetizes the solar home renewable energy credits (SHRECs) generated through the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP). The sale was comprised of two tranches of SHRECs produced by more than 105 megawatts of 14,000 residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SHRECs were aggregated by the Green Bank and sold in annual tranches to Connecticut’s two investor-owned utilities, Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Company, at a fixed, predetermined price over 15 years. The funds raised through this sale will recover the costs of administering and managing the RSIP, including the incentives offered to residential participants in the program.

The Green Bank worked with Kestrel Verifiers to certify that this issuance conforms with the Climate Bonds Standard.  Further, it partnered with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) to independently assess the impact of the systems in tranches one and two of the SHRECs. CAR estimates that these systems will produce 238,000 MWh of electricity each year, avoiding the emission of approximately 749,494 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) of greenhouse gases (GHGs).  CAR leveraged the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Avoided Emissions Generation Tool (AVERT) and Co-Benefits Risk Assessment (CoBRA) in their assessment of air quality and public health impacts respectively.

“The proceeds from this green bond support the many families reducing the burden of energy costs by putting solar PV systems on the rooftops of their homes,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “By attracting more private investment into Connecticut’s growing green energy economy, we are creating jobs in our communities while at the same time confronting global climate change.”

“This groundbreaking transaction, the first rated issuance for the Green Bank and the first ever solar ABS transaction by a green bank, demonstrates how governments can leverage public funds to harness the tremendous depth of the capital markets to accelerate investment in clean renewable energy. The innovative structure of the SHREC program enables the Green Bank to reach a new class of investors seeking to achieve steady long-term returns while at the same time supporting the state’s energy, environment and economic development policies,” states Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Working with the RBC Capital Markets as our underwriter, we were able to sell our green bonds and continue to support Connecticut’s growing green economy.”

RBC Capital Markets was the sole book runner in this transaction.

“RBC is thrilled to partner with Connecticut Green Bank on this first securitization exclusively backed by renewable energy credits,” said Nick Rogers, Director, Securitization Finance at RBC Capital Markets.  “Achieving a higher advance rate and lower cost-of-funds than other recent solar production ABS speaks to the strength of the SHREC program and its resonance in the market.”

 

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