GRID Alternatives Launches Multifamily Affordable Solar Program in Connecticut

Collaboration with Connecticut Green Bank will open up solar, reduce energy costs for hundreds of multifamily buildings serving low-income families.

Solar panels are installed by GRID Alternatives at Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk.

April 27, 2017GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, today announced expansion of its multifamily affordable solar program into the Connecticut market. The program helps affordable housing owners and operators reduce energy costs with solar, providing no-cost technical assistance, as well as turnkey solar design and installation services.

The expansion was announced today at a live solar installation on the 57-unit Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk. The project, financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, is one of the first of its kind in the state, and will provide over $360,000 in lifetime energy cost savings for affordable housing provider New Neighborhoods Inc. It also includes energy efficiency education for residents and hands-on solar workforce training for local job trainees and community college students.

Fair Street Apartments is part of a portfolio that GRID evaluated under its technical assistance program, which is provided at no cost through a grant from The JPB Foundation. Nearly 300 multifamily affordable housing buildings in the Connecticut

Volunteers from the Connecticut Green Bank helped install solar panels at the Norwalk site earlier this week.

Housing Finance Authority’s State-Sponsored Housing Portfolio have been evaluated for their solar potential.

The Connecticut Green Bank, which aims to accelerate investment in clean energy deployment in the state, will review the properties deemed suitable for solar and provide interested properties with financing for installation by GRID Alternatives or another qualified solar installer. The offering will expand solar deployment on Connecticut’s multifamily affordable housing stock, lowering operating costs while helping the state meet its goal of 27 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“Solar can make a huge financial difference for affordable housing owners, saving them money that can be applied to building upkeep and tenant services, and directly reducing rents in some cases,” said Peter Mandelstam, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Tri-State, which serves New York, New Jersey and now Connecticut. “We are excited to partner with Connecticut in opening up solar access for this market.”

“By reducing the energy burden on multifamily affordable properties, we are ensuring inclusive prosperity in Connecticut’s clean energy economy,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This partnership with GRID Alternatives not only helps put solar on suitable buildings, but offers local job training putting people to work. It’s a win-win.”

GRID’s ongoing national expansion efforts are supported by a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Fair Street installation is additionally sponsored by NRG Energy, Ardsley Partners, and GRID Alternatives’ national equipment partners: SunPower, Enphase Energy, Jinko Solar, IronRidge, and Schneider Electric.

Multifamily housing owners and developers interested in learning more about GRID’s no-cost technical assistance and solar offerings can visit www.gridalternatives.org/multifamily.

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Kresge invests $3 million in Connecticut Green Bank to support solar generation and storage in affordable housing

First round of Kresge Community Finance loans provides $14 million to six CDFIs, DFAs

December 18, 2016 – The Kresge Foundation announced today $14 million in investments to six Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF).

KCF invited proposals from qualifying CDFIs and DFAs working in American cities on projects that align with Kresge’s strategic priorities in six program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Detroit.

Kresge Community Finance wordmarkMore than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with small operating grants.

Program-related investments made in the first round of Kresge Community Finance funding include:

  • $3 million to Reinvestment Fund to support creative placemaking efforts in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans.
  • $3 million to Connecticut Green Bank to support the installation of solar generation and storage systems in affordable housing and other community facilities in Connecticut’s urban and coastal communities.
  • $1 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England to support the development of resident/member-owned and managed cooperative housing, and healthy food retail projects in cities in Southern New England.
  • $3 million to Enterprise Community Loan Fund for the equitable revitalization of the Jefferson-Chalmers Corridor in Detroit’s East Jefferson neighborhood.
  • $3 million to Boston Community Capital in support of its collaboration with MassDevelopment, Massachusetts’ economic development and finance authority, to finance mixed-use projects in Massachusetts cities pursuing community-led placemaking redevelopment.
  • $1 million to Capital Impact Partners in support of its partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to finance and promote community development, residential density and walkability.

In total, the Foundation plans to award up to $30 million in financing and up to $1.5 million in grants through KCF to at least 15 organizations. Additional investments through KCF will be announced in 2017.

“We wanted to test the demand for a standardized product of patient capital for CDFIs and DFAs,” said Joe Evans, the foundation’s portfolio manager, Social Investment Practice, “and to demonstrate to other investors an efficient approach to meeting the capital needs of low-income communities.”

Kresge’s Social Investment Practice uses a variety of financial tools to invest in projects that bring both a social and financial return. The foundation has committed to investing $350 million in social investments by 2020.

“To move that amount of money, we wanted to explore innovative ways of sourcing and funding a large pipeline of investments that advance our mission, while balancing risk and portfolio construction considerations,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investments Practice. “The demand for KCF proved to us that there is a market for this type of product, and we’re thrilled to partner with and support so many important efforts that will improve opportunity for thousands of low-income people.”

CDFIs are private nonprofits that leverage private sector investment to provide financing and technical assistance for a range of community development activities, including job creation, small business development, housing and other community development.

DFAs are public, private and non-profit development entities that provide financing for programs that foster job creation and economic development with a focus on growing housing and employment opportunities in low income communities.

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Meriden Enterprise Center Unveils New Solar Array

Major energy efficiency project complete with Green Bank financing

Meriden, CT (July 27, 2016) – The Meriden Enterprise Center at 290 Pratt Street has completed a comprehensive two-part, multi-year energy efficiency project with the unveiling of a new rooftop solar array. The 215 kW solar photovoltaic installation will produce over 250,000 kWh of energy annually.

The completion of the solar energy project is the final piece of an energy efficiency program financed using the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy). The upgrades include new windows, rooftop cooling units and a building management system which will benefit the building’s varied tenants. While many of the upgrade decisions appear to be obvious ways to achieve energy efficiency, the retrofitting of a building constructed in 1884 can be cost prohibitive without reliable financing.

C-PACE allows commercial and industrial property owners access to affordable, long-term financing for green energy. Building owners finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill and projects are developed so that energy savings exceed the cost of financing. The innovative financing results in lower energy costs and increases a building owner’s bottom line, while also modernizing buildings and making them more comfortable for tenants.

“This is one of the larger projects the Connecticut Green Bank has financed through the C-PACE program,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “With C-PACE, green energy projects of this scale are more accessible and affordable to building owners. By combining multiple energy efficiency measures with a solar project, the impact on the building owner’s bottom line has been maximized while this building has been transformed into a model for similar industrial sites statewide who are looking to reduce their energy costs. We are excited to partner with contractors like Lockheed Martin Energy and Greenskies Renewable Energy, who understand the value that comprehensive, multiple-measure green energy projects deliver to building owners.”

The Meriden Enterprise Center is expected to save over $4.7 million in energy costs over the 20-year financing term of the project. The payment schedule provides the Meriden Enterprise Center with more predictable energy costs, making business planning easier. The total cost of the project, financed by Connecticut Green Bank, is nearly $3 million.

The Enterprise Center is a 430,000 square foot industrial space with warehouse, light industrial, flex space and office space available. It is located in an enterprise zone.

“290 Pratt Street is a wonderful historic mill building with a dynamic mix of office and industrial tenants, but when we first acquired it, it could have been best described as a gas guzzler, which translated into very high utility and maintenance bills,” stated Steven Ancona, with the building ownership group. “By making energy efficiency investments, we significantly reduced utility and maintenance costs, allowing us to continue offering very competitive rents, lower our tenants’ operating costs, improve tenant comfort, and the aesthetics of the building. We have also significantly reduced the building’s carbon footprint.”

The energy efficiency upgrades at the Meriden Enterprise Center were done by Lockheed Martin Energy. Lockheed Martin Energy works with utilities, commercial businesses, government agencies and more on energy generation, distribution and transmission projects. The solar array was installed in a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC, a solar energy company and C-PACE contractor based in Middletown, Connecticut.

“This effort is a landmark project that demonstrates the value of cost-effective energy conservation upgrades for commercial developers,” said Bobbie Griffin, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Energy’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction business. “Working closely with Connecticut Green Bank and building ownership, we were able to identify and implement efficiency measures like programmable thermostats, new energy-efficient windows, high-efficiency HVAC systems and roof-mounted solar panels that will save thousands of kilowatt-hours of electricity, reduce gas consumption by 50 percent each year, and save millions of dollars in energy costs over the life of the improvements.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is currently working with owner-occupied manufacturers across the state through its Energy on the Line program. Eligible manufactures may qualify for up to $50,000 in grant money when using C-PACE to implement green energy upgrades. Please visit EnergyOnTheLine.com to learn more.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About the Meriden Enterprise Center

The Meriden Enterprise Center, located at 290 Pratt Street, Meriden, Connecticut is an historic mill building offering office and industrial spaces for rent. Tenants may be eligible for a variety of incentives due to the building’s location within an Enterprise Zone. For more information, please visit www.290pratt.com.

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For More Information, Contact:

Dean Pagani
McDowell Jewett Communications
860-918-5075
[email protected]

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Lesro Industries, Inc. Unveils Installation of a 995 kW Solar Array

Bloomfield Manufacturing Company will save money by going solar

Bloomfield, CT (July 11, 2016) – The largest solar project financed to date by the Connecticut Green Bank’s CT Solar Lease Commercial program is now operational at Lesro Industries in Bloomfield. The project, installed by C-TEC Solar, is expected to reduce energy costs for the company by tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The new installation at Lesro Industries consists of a 995 kW solar photovoltaic system, financed using the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, and secured via a benefit assessment on the property under the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. The upgrades will produce over 1.2 million kWh a year, and are expected to save Lesro, on average, upwards of $30,000 annually in energy costs and more than $700,000 over the 20-year financing term.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project provides Lesro with certainty about their energy costs, with predictable energy costs allowing them to better plan their business expenses over time. Lesro Industries is a family business focused on manufacturing reception seating, conference and occasional tables, and accessories. Their 268,000 square foot production facility in Bloomfield serves as the company’s headquarters.

Manufacturers in Connecticut account for 10% of the state’s entire energy consumption. By switching to green energy, manufacturers can reduce their energy costs and make future costs more predictable, increase manufacturing efficiency and focus on their core business, and protect the environment.

“Energy costs are uncertain if you rely on existing systems,” said Jerry Leshem, President of Lesro Industries. “You can be green without spending more money. In fact, over the long run you can save money. Partnering with C-TEC Solar allowed us to bring down and take control of our energy costs making it easier to plan for annual expenses in the long run. The project was seamlessly implemented by C-TEC as planned, without delay and on time.”

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program combines two proven finance mechanisms: PPAs, in which a third-party finances the solar installation in exchange for tax credits and other project revenue while providing discounted energy to the property owner; and C-PACE, in which the solar installation is secured via a benefit assessment on the property. Solar PPAs secured via C-PACE are considered sound investments that allow for significant private capital to help fund projects like the one at Lesro, reducing the need for ratepayer support.

C-PACE is an innovative program administered by the Green Bank that is helping commercial and industrial property owners access affordable, long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. By enabling building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and clean energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill, comprehensive energy improvements – that would otherwise be difficult to afford – are made possible. The Connecticut Green Bank is currently offering owner-occupied manufacturers an extra boost through its Energy on the Line program, launched this spring. Qualifying manufacturers who apply for C-PACE financing by September 16th are eligible for a grant of up to $50,000. The program is funded through the Connecticut DECD’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund.

“The new solar array at Lesro Industries is an innovative way for this manufacturer to reduce energy costs,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “Manufacturers consume a significant amount of energy, and Lesro Industries has demonstrated how green energy can put these businesses in control of their present and future energy costs, allowing them to focus on production and their customers. This industry is important to our state and we’re proud to offer green energy solutions that are enabling manufacturers to grow and thrive.”

C-TEC Solar of Bloomfield installed the solar array at Lesro. This rapidly growing company installs both commercial and residential solar projects across Southern New England and has played a strong role in growing Connecticut’s green energy movement. C-TEC Solar was a recipient of a 2015 PACEsetter Award from the Connecticut Green Bank in the “Best Newcomer” category in recognition of their work in the C-PACE program. The inaugural PACEsetter Awards recognized contractors, across multiple categories, who have set an example for other C-PACE contractors and are accelerating the green energy movement in Connecticut’s commercial sector.

“By partnering with the Connecticut Green Bank and companies such as Lesro Industries, C-TEC Solar is able to continue growing our business in Connecticut and proving the benefits of the green energy economy both here and in the region. We are setting an example for others to follow,” said Mickey Toro of C-TEC Solar.

To learn more about current offers from the Connecticut Green Bank for manufacturers financing green energy solutions, please visit EnergyOnTheLine.com.

Quotes from Local Legislators:

  • “It’s fantastic to see a local manufacturer like Lesro Industries securing their energy future and increasing their bottom line with a solar PV system. Lesro and C-TEC Solar are showing that green energy improvements are an easy and effective way to support sustainability, lower operating costs and grow business,” said State Representative David Baram, representing Bloomfield and Windsor.
  • “Congratulations and continued success to Lesro, this is a wonderful story of job creation and business growth,” said State Senator Eric D. Coleman, representing Bloomfield, Hartford and Windsor.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About Lesro Industries Inc.

Lesro Industries, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of reception seating and tables and built on the principles of trustworthiness and responsiveness to the customers’ needs.  Lesro’s products are carefully built with components produced in Connecticut and sourced worldwide, a hybrid manufacturing model. Lesro is branching out into new market segments at a time when North American businesses are seeking furniture that is well-made, environmentally sustainable, thoughtfully and beautifully designed and, perhaps most critical of all, comfortably within even the tightest budget. Final production is maintained in the company’s Bloomfield, CT, headquarters. For more information about Lesro Industries, Inc., please visit www.lesro.com.

About C-TEC Solar

C-TEC Solar provides residential and commercial solar customers the opportunity to obtain affordable clean energy. With 30 years of expertise as a solar energy company, C-TEC Solar is one of the most experienced solar contractors in the Northeast, specializing in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar thermal applications. C‐TEC Solar’s skilled and experienced Solar Consultants, Installers and Electricians aims to provide complete, affordable, start-to-finish solar project services with flexible solar financing solutions for your clean energy project.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:

Dean Pagani
McDowell Jewett Communications
860-918-5075
[email protected]

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Connecticut Green Bank Recognized for Connecticut Solar Lease Commercial Program

The CT Green Bank received a 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award for an innovative finance program that makes solar adoption possible for commercial and nonprofit organizations

Rocky Hill, CT (June 15, 2016) – The Connecticut Green Bank was honored as a recipient of a 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award for its CT Solar Lease Commercial program. This was one of six programs nationwide to win an award for outstanding accomplishments. The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a nonprofit coalition of public agencies working together to advance clean energy, established these biennial awards to highlight model programs and projects that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies and strengthened clean energy markets. The recipients of the awards were chosen by an independent panel of five distinguished judges, each with many years of experience in clean energy.

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program extends the Connecticut Green Bank’s record of innovation in financing clean energy development. It addresses the main barriers to solar adoption for “mid-market” commercial and nonprofit organizations. With small budgets, limited capital, and with a need for only a small to medium-sized solar system, the finance community has typically viewed small businesses and nonprofits as investments with limited potential return. An additional challenge for nonprofits is that they cannot make use of solar tax credits, because they are tax exempt.

The CT Solar Lease Commercial program combines two proven finance mechanisms to make solar accessible to this market segment: power purchase agreements (PPAs), in which a third-party finances the installation in exchange for tax credits and other project revenue at little to no cost to the property owner; and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), in which the solar installation is paid for through a lien on the property. By securing solar PPAs with C-PACE benefit assessment liens, private investors have confidence that the PPAs will be repaid. This unique financing structure successfully leverages limited state resources with private investment to go where the market won’t go, and demonstrates commercial viability for financing new solar customers. Under the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, multiple megawatts of solar have already been deployed across 15 nonprofit projects in Connecticut.

“This program shows impressive creativity in tackling the barriers to solar development,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon. “The CT Solar Lease Commercial program makes solar adoption viable for an entire class of customers who previously had no appealing way to finance their projects.”

“Thanks to the CT Solar Lease Commercial program, Connecticut Green Bank is making green energy financing more accessible and affordable to nonprofit organizations, while attracting private investment in mid-size solar projects,” said Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia. “The program enables these institutions to grow and thrive, while contributing to a better environment and a healthier community.”

CESA member organizations from across the U.S. submitted nominations for the leadership awards. Entries were judged based on public benefits and results, cost effectiveness, leadership and innovation, and replicability. The five judges who reviewed all the nominated programs were: Todd Foley (American Council on Renewable Energy); Jenny Heeter (National Renewable Energy Laboratory); Brian Keane (SmartPower); Heather Rhoads-Weaver (eFormative Options); and Bill Ritter (Center for the New Energy Economy).

A case study with more information about the CT Solar Lease Commercial program is available on CESA’s website at www.cesa.org/projects/state-leadership-in-clean-energy/2016.

CESA will be hosting upcoming webinar presentation on this program with guest speakers from the Connecticut Green Bank. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, July 19 from 2-3:30 pm ET. For more information on this free webinar and to register, visit www.cesa.org/projects/state-leadership-in-clean-energy/2016.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

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 works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the positions and achievements of its members. For more information, visit www.cesa.org.

 

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Construction near Completion for Solar Exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center

Students work on exhibit for residents and business owners to learn more about solar energy

North Haven, CT (March 22, 2016) – Work is nearly completed on a new solar energy exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven.  The exhibit, being installed with the help of students from E.C. Goodwin Technical High School and Platt Technical High School, will allow children and adults to learn about the benefits of solar.

The Energize Connecticut Center is a place where adults and children may experience hands-on learning of energy efficiency and renewable energy concepts and solutions.  The facility is a museum and a resource center, staffed by individuals who help Connecticut residents and business owners make smart energy choices. The Energize Connecticut Center is part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, an effort of the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, Eversource, The United Illuminating Company (UI), the Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) and The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG).

The new solar exhibit educates people and businesses on the benefits of using solar energy.  It also teaches people how the technology works, describes the different steps in the process of going solar, and explains different ways to pay for solar such as different types of available financing structures. The exhibit was funded by the Connecticut Green Bank with the goal of educating Connecticut citizens and making the benefits of green energy clear.

The solar panels at the exhibit are being installed by students from the Connecticut Technical High School System. The school system trains students on how to properly install solar panels, preparing them for careers in the solar industry and equipping them with mastery of other technical skills. A recent survey from the nonprofit research group The Solar Foundation projects that solar jobs in Connecticut will grow by 6.8% in 2016, underscoring the importance of preparing students to work in this rapidly growing industry.

“We are very excited about the new solar exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in partnership with The United Illuminating Company, Eversource and the Connecticut Technical High School System,” says Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “As residents and businesses witness more and more solar energy being deployed in their communities, interest in more and more renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will continue to rise. The Energize Connecticut Center’s solar exhibit not only offers a fun way to learn about solar PV technology but also underscores how simple the process of going solar actually is. I’m confident the Energize Connecticut Center’s solar experience will inspire more people to take control of their own energy use. Because the truth is, when more people in Connecticut make the decision to go solar, we grow businesses, we create jobs and we help people thrive.”

The Green Bank, which administers the Residential Solar Investment Program, an incentive program for homeowners who are going solar, reports that more than 17,000 homeowners in the state have already made the decision to go solar. The Green Bank offers financing programs for homeowners and business owners that make solar and other energy improvements more accessible and affordable.

Visitors are welcome to see the new exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center, located in North Haven, Connecticut at 122 Universal Drive North. The Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at www.EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE

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Town of Easton Unveils Solar Farm at Samuel Staples Elementary School

New System Will Generate 50 Percent of School’s Electricity

Rocky Hill, CT (November 12, 2015): The Town of Easton held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the commissioning of a new solar photovoltaic system at the Samuel Staples Elementary School today. The 301 kilowatt solar system is expected to generate half of the school’s electrical needs and is located on 1.4 acres in a field behind the school.

The Samuel Staples school building is designed like a large barn and the school leases some of the surrounding fields to local farmers to grow crops. Now, there will be one more crop – electricity – produced from the new solar farm.

Easton First Selectman Adam Dunsby was joined at the ceremony by State Representative John Shaban, Easton Board of Education Chairman Jeffrey Parker, Staples Principal Kimberly Fox-Santora, Easton Clean Energy Task Force Leader Cathy Alfandre, Northeast Energy Designs and Solutions LLC (NEEDS) Project Director John Dunster and Connecticut Green Bank EVP and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter. Students in two 5th Grade classes at the school also joined the celebration.

“It took the hard work of many people to make this solar project a reality,” said Mr. Dunsby. “I especially thank Easton’s Clean Energy Task Force who conceived of this project and stuck with it until it became reality.”

The system was installed with no up-front cost to the town and was financed, in part, under Connecticut Green Bank’s Solar Lease 2 program. The town will pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour of energy used under a Power Purchase Agreement, which should save the school hundreds of thousands of dollars over the 20-year term of the agreement. Funding will also be provided through the State’s Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) program, which will provide an income stream from The United Illuminating Company for power generated over the next 15 years, as well as a 30 percent federal tax credit.

The project enjoys the distinction of being the largest ground-mounted system under the Solar Lease program as well as the largest solar PV project on an elementary school supported by the Green Bank. It was developed by Bella Energy, based in Louisville, Colorado, and NEEDS, of Stamford, Connecticut.

“Connecticut Green Bank is creating innovative financial solutions – such as the CT Solar Lease used for this project – that make green energy a smart investment,” said Mr. Hunter. “We are working with schools and municipalities like Easton, as well as homeowners, businesses and institutions across the state, so they can affordably finance green projects with no up front costs. Together, we are leading the way to a stronger, greener future for Connecticut.”

Easton has a long history of supporting clean energy. In April 2006, it joined the original Clean Energy Communities program, now administered jointly by Connecticut Green Bank, The United Illuminating Company and Eversource. The Town has earned rewards from the Green Bank (or its predecessors) under that program, with which it installed a 5 kW solar PV system at Samuel Staples Elementary School and performed an energy audit at Helen Keller Middle School.

The town also conducted a successful Solarize ConnecticutSM campaign in 2013-2014 in partnership with the neighboring towns of Trumbull and Redding. Easton has joined the Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program administered by the Green Bank, which allows commercial property owners, multifamily properties with 5 or more units and non-profits to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.

“The Easton Clean Energy Task Force is excited that our rural, farming community now has a wonderful solar farm producing electricity for the school’s use, helping the town save money, and doing something good for the planet,” said Ms. Alfandre. “One of our Task Force members, Carroll Brooke, was the true visionary behind the project and worked incredibly hard for more than two years to bring it to fruition. He is proof that one person can make a difference, and we are lucky to have him in Easton.”

About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

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Contact:
Bob Wall
860-257-2354 (office)
203-581-0006 (cell)

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Connecticut Green Bank Partners with Utilities, Contractors, and Municipalities to Compete in SunShot Prize to Reduce Solar Installation Times

U.S. Department of Energy Competition will award monetary prizes

Rocky Hill, CT (September 30, 2015) – The Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first green bank,will participate in the SunShot Prize: Race to 7-Day Solar, a national competition that aims to reduce the time it takes to “go solar” across the country. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, Connecticut has a chance to win up to $100,000 in the first round of competition and up to $3 million as a first place grand prize winner.

The Green Bank will partner withConnecticut’s two investor-owned utilities, Eversource Energy and UIL Holding Corporation’s electric subsidiary The United Illuminating Company, solar installers, and a number of municipalities to form the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Team. The team will takea strategic approach to identifying, creating, and implementing innovative practices that significantly reduce solar systeminterconnection times,while also striving to deploy10 megawatts of solar energy in participating Connecticut municipalities.

Currently, solar PV projects in Connecticut can take several months to complete. The team strives to reduce installation times by 75% and complete projects in less than 2 months.To achieve this goal, the Connecticut Permit to Plug-In Team will utilize a data-driven approach to quantify the impact ofeach team member’s role on solar installation timelines and gauge the success of strategies designed to fast-track project completion.

“This partnership between the utilities, solar contractors, municipalities and the Green Bank is a huge step forward for Connecticut,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We are excited to work together towards accelerating the adoption of residential solar PV in the state and significantly reducing the time it takes Connecticut homeowners to go solar.”

Throughout the competition, the Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Team will work towards achieving several targets and has the chance to earn monetary prizes for its accomplishments.The team will aim to install 1 megawatt (MW) of solar PV in participating municipalities by January 2016 and 3 MW by March 2016. The Department of Energy will award up to $100,000 in “Change Prizes”for these achievements.  These Change Prizeswill support the Connecticut Team in implementing strategies for significantly reduced solar project completion and ultimately winningthe first place grand prize of $3 million.The awards will be divided between the members of the team.

The competition begins on September 22, 2015 and will conclude on March 17, 2017. The Connecticut Green Bank will provide updates on the competition throughout its duration.

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more about the SunShot Initiative and the SunShot Prize competition and rules.

For More Information, Contact:

Craig Connolly
Connecticut Green Bank
860-257-2352

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Crowdfunding of Homeowner Solar Installations Surpasses $1 million in Connecticut

Connecticut Green Bank, nation’s first Green Bank, successfully utilizes crowdfunding platform to finance innovative solar loans for homeowners

ROCKY HILL, Conn. – August 13, 2015 – The Connecticut Green Bank today announced that more than$1 million in loans has been sold to date to Mosaic, a solar finance crowdfunding platform,for residential solar installations funded throughout the state.

The Connecticut Green Bank is the nation’s first Green Bank to utilize a crowdfunding platform to help finance a residential solar loan product, which provides homeowners with the opportunity to own solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to lower energy costs. It also represents the first time that a pool of residential solar loans has been crowdfunded and offered to individual investors.

The crowdfunded loans have financed the installation of nearly 100 PV systems, deploying more than 735 kilowatts (kW) of clean energy to homeowners throughout the state.

In February 2014, the Connecticut Green Bank, Mosaic, and Sungage Financial, a specialty solar finance company that provides homeowners with easy, online access to low-cost loans to help them go solar, agreed to a $5 million deal to offer Connecticut homeowners crowdfunded loans for solar installations.

“The success of this initiative demonstrates both what a Green Bank is designed to do and that there is a new market for residential solar financing through crowdfunding,” said Bryan Garcia, Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO. “With our partners Mosaic and Sungage Financial, we have created an innovative new model for attracting private capital investment in residential solar projects, which is sure to help clean energy thrive in Connecticut and beyond. Additionally, the sale of the loans to Mosaic and its users will allow us to redeploy ratepayer capital that was invested in the loans to fund even more clean energy projects across the state.”

The loan product, originally designed by Sungage Financial in partnership with the Connecticut Green Bank, is the first of its kind and uses projected energy savings as a valuation tool for appropriately sizing the loans.Offered through participating solar installers serving the Connecticut market, the loan offer incorporates key protections for the homeowner such as guarantees on system performance.

The Connecticut Green Bank provided an initial $5 million commitment to fund origination of the consumer loans. Mosaic then bought these loans and offered the crowd the opportunity to invest, in return for a yield of approximately 5.5% over a 15-year term.Mosaic’s investors have fully funded the entire portfolio offered to date, with individual Mosaic users investing as little as $25 in this new asset class while benefiting from a very low-risk investment due to the pooling of the underlying solar loans.

“This offering proves that the clean energy economy is accessible and affordable to consumers, as well as to the small investor looking to promote clean energy while earning a good return,” said Garcia.

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com

About Mosaic

Mosaic is the first online marketplace to offer investments in solar projects. Mosaic, named the 5th most innovative energy startup by Fast Company, launched in January 2013 and has financed over $6M of solar projects with thousands of investors across the nation. To date, the company has had zero defaults and 100% on-time payments at 4.5-7% annually. For more information about Mosaic, please visit www.joinmosaic.com.

 About Sungage Financial

Sungage Financial offers the first solar loan product for the residential marketplace. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Sungage Financial partners with leading solar installers and institutional investors to provide a proprietary online platform that enables homeowners to efficiently apply, qualify, and contract for solar financing. Sungage Financial, which is committed to helping homeowners save more from their homes’ solar panels, launched its first lending program in Connecticut in March 2013 through a partnership with the nation’s first green bank, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority. For more information, please visit www.sungagefinancial.com.

 

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Governor Malloy Tours Bridgeport House with Solar and Energy Efficiency Measures

An innovative public-private partnership that is making clean energy more accessible and affordable to families susceptible to rising energy costs

Bridgeport, CT (July 21, 2015) – Governor Malloy toured the house of Susan Young in Bridgeport on Tuesday,to view the installation of solar power and energy efficiency measures –financed through a public-private partnership between PosiGen Solar Solutions and the Connecticut Green Bank.  The innovative financing program combines a solar lease with an energy savings agreement to lower the energy burden of participating households.  Accompanying the Governor wereBryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, Thomas Neyhart, CEO of PosiGen, and Chris Anastasi, Sustainability coordinator for the City of Bridgeport.

In a concerted effort to extend the reach of the Governor’s renewable energy policies, the Green Bank teamed up with PosiGen, a New Orleans solar company that recently located its New England business in Bridgeport, CT.Focused on closing on what many see as a clean energy affordability gap, the partnership is designed to give people like Ms. Young access to an affordable solar leasing structure that will deliver energy savings for this often overlooked market segment.

“We are making Connecticut greener, cleaner and more efficient than ever before, and in the process we’re helping residents save on energy while creating thousands of new jobs in the industries of the future,” Governor Malloy said.  “These initiatives help the state meet the growing homeowner demand for residential solar, and we’re doing it through cost-effective solutions that increase private investment and use less ratepayer and taxpayer incentives.  Connecticut is helping lead the nation in the clean energy advancements of tomorrow.”

PosiGen focuses its efforts on improving the financial sustainability of low-to-moderate income families who are most susceptible to rising energy costs by reducing their energy consumption and providing opportunities to leverage state and federal incentives.  “We are excited to be partnering with the Connecticut Green Bank to enable innovative financing through a combination solar lease and energy savings agreement offering,” says Mr. Neyhart.  “We are making the combination of solar and efficiency upgrades more accessible and affordable for low-to-moderate income families that need to reduce their household energy burden.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is investing in PosiGen to provide low-cost debt capital and a tiered incentive for participating households in communities across the state.  “This partnership with PosiGen, and their private investors, will lower the energy burden on limited income households through financing and the deployment of clean energy,” states Mr. Garcia.  “As Connecticut continues to deploy more and more clean energy in our communities, we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to realize the benefits it offers.”

“I am excited to be one of the first homeowners in Connecticut to take advantage of the PosiGen offering to lower my energy costs,” says Ms. Young, theBridgeport homeowner.  “I was able to install a solar power system, insulation, water-savings aerators and CFL light bulbs, which are already providing energy savings that I can put to better uses for my households.”

“I am thrilled with the work PosiGen did on my house.  I did not think I could afford to install solar panels to help with my energy costs, however, the lease option made it possible, I am so happy to help protect our environment.  I encourage other homeowners to look into their options to cut down on their energy costs.”

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About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About PosiGen Solar Solutions

Headquartered in New Orleans, PosiGen Solar Solutions is one of the nation’s leading residential solar, energy efficiency and energy education providers. PosiGen has more than 6,000 residential customers, 165 direct employees and 150 contract employees in Louisiana, Connecticut and New

York. PosiGen’s unique services and products make solar energy affordable to homeowners ofall income levels, and offer individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and energy independence by lowering their utility bills. To learne verything about PosiGen, please visit www.posigen.com.

 

For More Information, Contact:

Gladys Rivera
Connecticut Green Bank
(860) 257-2351

Rebecca Brockway
McDowell Jewett Communications
(860) 604-6653

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