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/.