Solar For All Benefits the Poor

Note: On August 13, 2020, the Hartford Courant ran a Letter to the Editor submitted by Connecticut Green Bank CEO and President Bryan Garcia. The published letter was a shortened version (to fit the Courant’s guidelines); the full version of the letter is below.  


By Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank

Paul Steidler’s July 26, 2020 article “Rush to Renewable Energy Hurts Poor” tries to make the point that America’s expanded use of natural gas will not only benefit our economy and the environment, but also help those who are less fortunate.  He notes that renewable energy is among the reasons why residential electricity is 66% more expensive in New England than the rest of the country.

In Connecticut, low-to-moderate income families and communities of color are reducing the burden of their energy costs not by consuming more natural gas, but by installing solar on their rooftops and making their homes more energy efficient. The energy affordability gap for our most vulnerable citizens is about $1,400 per year, which means that the poor are paying more for energy in our state than what is affordable.  Through state efforts in partnership with the private sector, it is solar power and energy efficiency that are reducing that affordability gap by nearly $1,100 per year not natural gas.  Our state is a “parity state” when it comes to income and “beyond parity state” when it comes to race in terms of solar deployment – meaning the poor and communities of color are demanding solar power and energy efficiency more than those with means and who are White.

Nearly a year ago to the day, Hartford experienced some of the hottest weather on record.  The weather was so hot and humid that state officials warned people about two problems – excessive heat and bad air.  This resulted in higher air conditioning usage stressing the electricity grid, resulting in ISO-NE calling upon higher-cost and higher-polluting power that came from fossil fuels.  These fossil fuel power plants emit pollutants that react with sunlight to create smog which contributes to poor air quality and is harmful to public health.  At the same time, across the Constitution State, there were nearly 28,000 homes powered by the sun that were providing 230 MW of power output during peak times. This reduced $3 million of peak demand costs which lowered energy costs for all electric ratepayers. It also removed the need for more power generation from burning fossil fuels thereby cleaning the air we all breathe.

Air pollution is not good for our public health – and it is especially detrimental when you have a disease that targets the respiratory system such as COVID-19.  We are seeing more clearly today than ever before, how pollution from fossil fuel resources creates a disproportionate share of the negative environmental impacts on the public health within communities of color.  Call it environmental justice or climate justice, natural gas and its infrastructure aren’t good for the poor! 

Right now, Connecticut is in the process of modernizing and decarbonizing its antiquated energy system into a 21st century clean energy platform that will continue to enable the growth of our green economy.  By combining renewable energy resources like the sun, with energy efficiency, battery storage, and demand response, we are working towards a zero-carbon electricity grid that will fuel zero emission vehicles for our roads and power carbon-free renewable heating and cooling systems for our homes.

During this pandemic, we are all experiencing tough economic times, but everyone can be part of the solution. Schedule a home energy audit (no-cost). Insulate your home to make it more energy efficient (rebates up to 100 percent available). Install solar on your roof (it’s affordable).  Solar for all, benefits all of us, especially the poor!

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.

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.

Sweet Sunlight: Solar Energy to Power DiMare Pastry Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drone image from 64Solar

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

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

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

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

About 64Solar

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

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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.

Connecticut Green Bank presents PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 12, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank has announced the winners of the 2019 PACEsetter Awards. The Connecticut Green Bank created the PACEsetter Awards to acknowledge contractors, building owners and other stakeholders who are advancing the green energy movement through C-PACE, and whose leadership establishes a “pace” for others in their field to follow. The award winners are a driving force behind the success of the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. These are the fifth annual PACEsetter Awards. 

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, which helps commercial, industrial, and non-profit property owners access affordable, long-term financing for qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that are repaid through a voluntary assessment on the building owner’s property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses achieve lower energy costs and increase their bottom-line. The Green Bank announced last month that it had surpassed a total of 300 closed C-PACE projects in 2019, crediting much of this success to PACEsetters and other dedicated supporters of the program.

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

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

 Top Performer, 2019

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

Outstanding Project, 2019

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

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

Accelerating PACE, 2019:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Brick Walk Professional Building Looks to the Sun

New rooftop solar system will provide electricity for medical offices

 

Fairfield, CT (October 21, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and Kleban Properties LLC are proud to announce that a rooftop solar photovoltaic system will soon produce electricity for the Brick Walk Professional Building, part of the portfolio of Brick Walk properties located on the Post Road in Fairfield. The 64 kilowatt system will be financed through the Green Bank’s C-PACE program, and installed by Energy Resources. The building provides offices for doctors, dentists, social workers, and other medical professionals.

Kleban Properties, a real estate development firm headquartered in Fairfield, manages over 1.5 million square feet of commercial and residential property for the Kleban family. Working in real estate development in Connecticut for five generations, the Klebans have a history of visionary leadership in property development, including in Fairfield where they have created mixed-use spaces like Brick Walk that serve as community destinations.

“As a leader in commercial property management, we are always looking for cogent value-add strategies, and we believe in creating sustainable communities. Installing solar on the Brick Walk Professional Building fits this model,” said Ken Kleban, President of Kleban Properties. “It adds value to the property, lowers energy costs, and shows our environmental commitment to our tenants and residents.”

C-PACE, or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, allows building owners to make energy upgrades immediately and pay back over time through a voluntary benefit assessment lien that is repaid along with real property taxes.

“We are excited to see leaders like Ken Kleban, who focus on building thriving communities, making energy consciousness decisions part of their investments,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs. “Projects on high-traffic properties help spread the word to other developers, building owners, and residents that energy efficiency and renewables are good financially and for the environment.”

The financed amount of the project was $243,790 and the estimated cost savings over the expected useful life of the project (20 years) is over $340,000.

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

Clean Energy States Alliance Launches Major Initiative to Advance Solar in Under-Resourced Communities

US Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households

Montpelier, VT (October 3, 2019) – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.

For the single-family homes component of the initiative, CESA will work with Connecticut Green Bank, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and PosiGen Solar to evaluate and promote a successful initiative that has brought solar to more than 2,500 Connecticut single-family homes, most of which are LMI. State agencies from across the country will be given the opportunity to join a working group where they will receive technical assistance and other support to consider adopting similar programs for their states.

For manufactured homes, CESA, with assistance from representatives of the New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division, will examine the potential for using solar to power manufactured homes in different states, based on their housing stock, solar policies, geography, and the applicability of different possible technologies. State government agencies, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and other stakeholders will be encouraged to join a learning network to explore the potential for launching a pilot project or program for manufactured homes.

The multifamily affordable housing component of the project will build on work carried out by Clean Energy Group (CEG) in conjunction with the Kresge Foundation. CEG and CESA will work with housing developers/owners and community development lenders to replicate and expand loan guarantee and other foundation program-related investment (PRI) models for solar and solar plus battery storage (solar+storage) projects for multifamily affordable housing. Principal objectives will be to increase community resilience and reduce energy costs for low-income households.

CESA has worked actively on LMI solar more than five years. CESA Executive Director Warren Leon remarks that: “CESA is committed to helping state governments and other stakeholders implement solar in ways that provide meaningful benefits to under-resourced communities. The new grant from the US DOE solar office will enable us to significantly expand our outreach and assistance.”

To carry out the new initiative and other work CESA is engaged in related to solar for LMI communities, two talented individuals with strong experience working on this topic have been added to the CESA staff.

CESA Project Director Nicole Hernandez Hammer is a well-known environmental justice advocate, climate change expert, and sea-level researcher. A Guatemalan immigrant, she has worked to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on under-resourced communities across the US. For the past year, she has been a consultant to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, working primarily with community groups on LMI solar. She was a climate science and community advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists and assistant director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, among other positions. She was recently recognized by NBC as one of the #NBCLatino20

Laura Schieb, CESA project associate, earned a JD at Vermont Law School, as well as an LLM in Energy Law with a Certificate in Climate Law. While at the law school, she was employed as a Global Energy Law Fellow, implementing projects at the Energy Law Clinic, including leading a team preparing a report on low-income solar ownership in Vermont.

To learn about or to sign up for updates about the new Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project, go to www.cesa.org/projects/low-income-clean-energy/scaling-up-lmi-solar/.

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About the Clean Energy States Alliance 
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA members—mostly state agencies—include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the achievements of its members. For more information, visit www.cesa.org.

About the Solar Energy Technologies Office
The US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.

For more information, contact: Nate Hausman, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance, [email protected]

Ph: 802-223-2554 x206