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. (September 15, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the relaunch of its Charge Up CT Buildings program, an initiative originally launched in January that offers free electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to commercial property owners who use Connecticut Green Bank C-PACE financing . The initiative was put on hold in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative financing tool that provides building owners with access to 100% financing for energy improvements, realize positive cash flow immediately, and create more comfortable, efficient buildings. C-PACE can also support building owners in reducing operating expenses and increasing cash flow, providing a vital lifeline to help businesses get through tough economic times. Plus, the Green Bank is currently offering flexible payment options for new borrowers that let them choose to defer or pay interest-only on initial payments, offering borrowers ways to improve their building and save energy while freeing up cash and receiving immediate financial relief.

“The Green Bank is enabling building owners to take control of their energy costs and save money by using C-PACE, which could provide many borrowers the breathing room they need while the economy recovers and things get back to ‘normal,’” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President, Financing Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “But with C-PACE and Charge Up CT Buildings, we’re also helping borrowers to position their properties and businesses – and our community – for future success, and a better, new ‘normal.’ Borrowers 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.”

The addition of free EV charging equipment means property owners leveraging C-PACE won’t just be using the clean energy financing mechanism as a tool to improve their financial position in the near term, but also to modernize their buildings and position them more competitively in the future. Whether building tenants are commercial or residential, as the EV market continues to grow, properties with charging stations can lead the way.

To qualify for a free EV charging station, energy saving projects must utilize at least $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. 

Property owners will now have until December 18, 2020 to apply for C-PACE financing in order to be eligible for this limited time promotion. Property owners are encouraged to contact the Green Bank early to start the application process.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.”

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).