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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Does Connecticut’s Green Bank Hold the Secret to the Future of Clean Energy?

With the goal of getting clean energy development less dependent on government funds, the state’s Green Bank may be the model for success in a Trump presidency.

 

By Jan Ellen Spiegel, InsideClimate NEWS

 

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (Dec. 12, 2016) —Bryan Garcia, president of the Connecticut Green Bank, said he knew five years ago when it was created that it would be an important model for funding clean energy projects.

He didn’t know it might become critical for funding them.

In the face of a Donald Trump presidency that dismisses climate change and threatens to ignore its solutions, the future of clean energy may rely heavily on new approaches like the ones pioneered by the Connecticut Green Bank, the first-ever statewide one. The bank’s mission is to leverage limited public money into even more private investment in clean energy so eventually there is no need for public money. That would create jobs, lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The green bank model may be an attractive tool under a Trump presidency,” Garcia said. “Public-private partnerships like ours spur investment in local clean energy economies that create jobs and ultimately mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Connecticut bank said it has surpassed $1 billion in money put in play—some for loans, other money for default security— with an average of $6 in private funding created from every $1 in public money. It has designed a dozen or more clean energy and efficiency financial products, programs and marketing efforts. Best known is its heralded Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, C-PACE, program that is transforming how commercial properties finance clean energy and energy efficiency improvements.

The bank says it has created nearly 215 megawatts of clean power across more than 20,000 projects, the equivalent of nearly 13,000 jobs directly for clean energy companies and other businesses that benefit from clean energy, and saved more than 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted.

Initially the private banking community saw the bank as competition, but has come around so much that two early popular programs are now run solely by private banks. Officials say several private companies have launched specifically because of opportunities created by the bank’s success.

“Our goal is to be catalytic,” Garcia said. “These problems aren’t going to be solved by taxpayers and ratepayers. These problems are going to be solved by bringing more private investment into the clean energy economies.”

“It’s exceeded all expectations,” said Reed Hundt, the founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Coalition for Green Capital. Hundt, a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission under President Bill Clinton, sits on the Connecticut Green Bank board of directors.

The green bank idea was hatched by Hundt and Dan Esty, a Yale University professor specializing in business, law and the environment and a former EPA official, while both were working on President Obama’s transition team.

Esty had long espoused the concept that clean energy and combating climate change could create new businesses and jobs. In 2011, he became commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Green Bank was born.

“Your goal is to get people into the real market where they can operate without government support or subsidy,” said Esty, who is no longer commissioner. He believes industry, not government, should pick technologies. “The key role of government was to de-risk the flow of funds into clean energy.”

The bank replaced the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, a quasi-governmental organization funded by $27 million annually in electricity ratepayer fees given out as rebates.

The bank still gets those ratepayer fees along with just under a quarter of the state’s proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions and periodic federal government and nonprofit grants.

But now that money is used mostly for loans and other mechanisms to draw private investment.

Growing Pains

Garcia and Bert Hunter, a veteran banker hired as the bank’s chief financial officer, learned early they would have to more than just show up with money to get private banks to work with them. They would have to invent programs; explain to banks, developers and contractors how they would work; market the programs and financial products; and invest so others could see the bank wasn’t afraid to risk its own money.

“Our role is to get things started,” Hunter said.

It worked.

David Cantor, senior vice president and business banking team leader for First Niagara, recently purchased by KeyBank, said Hunter smoothed the way for his bank to invest in a commercial solar lease financing program as a first foray into clean energy financing. His bank has now committed more than $17 million to the program.

“They would come to us and they would say ‘here’s project X,'” he said. “‘We’ll provide a guarantee or we’ll provide some financing behind you or we’ll make sure we’ll facilitate the contracts.'”

The experience made them confident enough to finance a small hydro project and an anaerobic digester in Connecticut and solar projects in Massachusetts and New York.

Webster Bank had also never done clean energy financing before it got involved with a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell installation. The Bank walked Webster through the basics of clean energy, fuel cells, third-party ownership and kicked in 20 percent of its own money to buy down what Webster had to finance.

“Without the grant,” said Carolyn Morrison, Webster’s vice president for commercial banking, “We might not have financed the full value.”

Something for Everyone, Almost

The most versatile of the bank’s products is the Smart-E loan, a low-interest, all-purpose clean energy and energy efficiency loan for homeowners.

Across the state, 10 community banks and credit unions handle the loans. They can be used to purchase solar systems, install insulation and windows and even convert from oil to natural gas heat.

“Once we understood the nature of how it was going to work,” said Brian Skarda senior vice president for residential and consumer lending at Union Savings Bank, “it really didn’t take much convincing at all.”

For every dollar the Green Bank has put into the Smart-E loan program, banks like Union Savings have contributed $10, the most dramatic leverage rate in the Green Bank’s portfolio.

The Bank also started two residential solar-specific loans, one for purchases and one for leases. The lease loans have now migrated to private leasing companies only, such as SolarCity. One purchase loan program also migrated to the private sector, helping a Massachusetts startup called Sungage Financial survive.

After a terrible experience trying to find a loan for a solar system on her own home, Sungage founder Sara Ross took an idea to the Green Bank: base the loan on long-term electricity savings, not equity in the home itself. The pilot project produced 280 loans worth nearly $6 million. Sungage’s loan program has been scooped up by Digital Federal Credit Union and now operates in seven states.

Finding the Green Bank, Ross said was “like winning Megabucks.”

A Wider Success Story

Property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs provide loans for clean energy and efficiency upgrades that can be paid back through assessments on property tax bills. Connecticut’s C-PACE isn’t the first of these; 25 states already had something similar, but the Green Bank perfected it for commercial properties.

It’s designed so the energy savings more than cover the loan—which can be for 100 percent of the cost with payback over up to 20 years. If the property is sold, the remaining loan goes with it. The bank partnered with the clean energy financing group Hannon Armstrong to provide $100 million for the program.

But what the bank did more than anything was work out a compromise over who would get paid back first if the property owner defaulted on the loan, a problem for many PACE programs. So far, the bank has been successful in getting 124 of the Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, accounting for 95 percent of the state’s commercial and industrial space, to agree to use C-PACE.

More than 150 projects worth about $95 million have been financed through C-PACE.

“C-PACE really made us able to tackle big energy savings projects that would have been far outside our ability,” said Brett Wilderman of Forstone Capital, who said the savings are even higher than anticipated on the two projects his firm launched.

Providing a Model

The bank also finally found success in the hard-to-crack low-income market by partnering with PosiGen, a solar company created in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. In less than two years, it has installed more than 500 systems in Connecticut, impressing chief executive Tom Neyhart so much, he’s moved his northeast base to the state.

Many like Neyhart see the bank as a model for other states, only a few of which have any form of green bank, and as the backbone for a national green or infrastructure bank.

“The circumstances in each state will be different,” said Dan Reicher, the executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He considers Connecticut C-PACE among the top clean energy finance models, but while he called green banks a good model, he noted that needs, political leadership and utility regulations can differ radically from state to state.

But there are lessons for other states from Connecticut, Esty said. Those include a solid legal framework, a bipartisan policy backbone from government that doesn’t dictate all the specifics, attention for the concerns of all participants. But lesson number one, he said is, “Change is really hard to deliver even when the status quo plainly is not working. There will be opposition.”

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Connecticut Green Bank Turns Five

Enabling Households and Businesses to reduce their Energy Burden while Growing Investment in the State’s Clean Energy Economy

Rocky Hill, CT (December 8, 2016) – The Connecticut Green Bank is marking five years of exceptional progress toward its goal of reducing the energy burden on households and businesses by mobilizing private investment into the state’s clean energy economy. Formed in 2011 by Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly, the Connecticut Green Bank was the first of its kind in the United States. Today, it is not only considered the standard-bearer of the green bank movement but is also serving as the template for a recent national green bank proposal in Congress.

Since its inception in 2011, the Connecticut Green Bank and its private investment partners have deployed over a $1 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state. Projects recorded through FY 2016 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy. As a result, the Connecticut Green Bank projects have helped create thousands of jobs in our communities, prevented the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitated rapid growth in the deployment of clean energy. All of which is contributing to a reduction of the energy burden on households and businesses in the state.

Through its many public-private partnerships, the Green Bank helps make clean energy more affordable and accessible to Connecticut households and businesses by making capital available for them to finance clean energy improvements on their properties. These improvements result in a lowering of their energy costs, which helps households better manage their budgets and businesses to increase their bottom-line.
To that end, the Connecticut Green Bank is demonstrating how the smart use of public funds can mobilize more private investment in the state’s economy. One such example is the rapid deployment of rooftop solar PV on homes throughout the state. While state incentives have dropped by more than 80 percent in the past 5 years, the deployment has increased by over 2500 percent as a result of providing households with more affordable and accessible financing solutions from local lenders. More and more homes are demanding solar PV because it lowers their energy costs while at the same time driving more private investment into the economy and creating more jobs in our communities.

“The Connecticut Green Bank is leading the green bank movement to accelerate private capital investment in clean energy deployment in Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security, and address climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Thank you to the Governor, Connecticut General Assembly, board of directors and staff, and our partners and stakeholders for mobilizing investment into our state’s clean energy economy.”

For more information on Connecticut Green Bank’s signature C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy), Smart-E programs and other clean energy initiatives, please follow the links provided or visit our website.

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.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:

Rudy Sturk

(860) 259-1154

 

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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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’Energy on the Line’ Program Will Lower Energy Costs for Connecticut Manufacturers

Affordable financing and grant opportunities will help eligible manufacturers be more competitive

Hartford, CT (April 25, 2016) – The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Green Bank today unveiled a new initiative that provides manufacturers an innovative way to lower their energy costs. The ‘Energy on the Line’ program offers grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency building upgrades.

“This is yet another example of how we are supporting Connecticut manufacturers — and we’re doing it by bolstering our green energy efforts. By lowering energy costs for businesses, we’re helping them remain competitive and doing it with environmentally positive methods,” stated Governor Dannel Malloy.  “It’s another step forward not just in our support for businesses, but also in our efforts to protect the environment.”

The ‘Energy on the Line’ program will provide supplemental funds to manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. C-PACE provides commercial property owners with full financing for green energy projects that help reduce the plant’s total energy cost and improve emissions.  The supplemental funding from Energy on the Line (up to $50,000) may be used for any project-related expenses at the discretion of the recipients, thereby reducing the amount of financing from C-PACE needed to complete the project and lowering the company’s borrowing costs.

The $800,000 program is funded through the DECD’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund and will be matched by more than $8 million of private sector funds through the Connecticut Green Bank.  The Connecticut Green Bank will administer the program.

“It’s all about being competitive,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD.  “‘Energy on the Line’ will help our manufacturers reduce cost, enabling more competitive pricing and future growth in the state.  This is a great economic development tool for the manufacturing sector.”

“Connecticut manufacturers feel the burden of high energy costs more than anyone, and we’re excited to see C-PACE put manufacturers back in control of their businesses through the ‘Energy on the Line’ program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We look forward to working with the manufacturing community and to making green energy financing more accessible and affordable to them. That’s a win for Connecticut’s environment and economy.”

The ‘Energy on the Line’ program will begin today and is open to all Connecticut manufacturing companies that have owner-occupied facilities.  Applications must be received by September 16, 2016.  To learn more, please visit: www.EnergyOnTheLine.com.

 

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 Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic and Community Development (www.decd.org) is the state’s lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the rapidly changing knowledge-based global economy. The department administers the Manufacturing Innovation Fund that was created to support and strengthen Connecticut’s manufacturing sector.

 

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Green Bank and Hannon Armstrong Partner for Commercial Clean Energy Financing

Up to $100M in New Lending Power Will Improve Access to Project Capital

 

Dec. 17, 2015 – (Rocky Hill, CT and Annapolis, MD) – The Connecticut Green Bank (“Green Bank”) and Hannon Armstrong (NYSE: HASI) have reached an agreement that will increase the deployment of energy efficiency, solar and other clean energy projects throughout the Connecticut commercial and industrial sector.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hannon Armstrong will provide access to up to $100 million in funding for green energy projects for commercial and industrial buildings and businesses. The agreement supports the Green Bank’s successful C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. The innovative financing structure allows the Green Bank to effectively leverage private capital while providing Hannon Armstrong with the ability to access a high quality, rapidly growing class of assets.

The agreement between the Green Bank and Hannon Armstrong will streamline the process building owners currently undergo to source competitive financing for comprehensive energy projects. Hannon Armstrong brings its expertise in programmatic financing and risk assessment, as well as predictability in execution, while the improved access to financing will enable Connecticut businesses to achieve even more meaningful energy savings with zero upfront costs.

The agreement also helps the Green Bank expand C-PACE, the very successful commercial green energy financing program. C-PACE provides commercial, industrial, nonprofit and multi-family property owners access to 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, more comprehensive energy improvements that would otherwise be difficult to afford are made possible. With 100% financing offered over a term of up to 20 years, building owners are able to complete projects that not only significantly lower energy costs but also increase their bottom lines while being cash flow positive from day one. While each project will be individually reviewed and underwritten, capital provided under the program is secured by a lien on the property, which greatly reduces the investment risk and associated cost of capital. The Green Bank has already closed over $50M in C-PACE projects, and has a growing pipeline that represents nearly $50 million more in already approved projects. Demand is on a rapid growth trajectory, creating the need for more capital to support the program.

“This agreement will help us streamline the approval process for commercial loans and ensure a reliable source of capital for our businesses and institutions,” said Bryan Garcia, the President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank. “But more importantly, this transaction demonstrates that private investors are ready to put their capital behind green energy projects in the commercial sector. The Green Bank can leverage this infusion of private capital to accelerate the growth of green energy, while putting fewer ratepayer dollars at risk. That establishes a marketplace where Connecticut businesses can thrive and allows the Green Bank to further leverage its assets.”

“Investing in energy efficiency and clean energy projects through the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program provides Hannon Armstrong a new scalable channel partner to cost effectively deploy capital,” said Jeffrey Eckel, President & CEO of Hannon Armstrong. “We applaud the Green Bank’s leadership in developing this market.”

“We in Connecticut have been innovators with our first-in-the-nation Green Bank. We’ve shown that we can tackle global warming with smart, private-sector solutions and by leveraging private dollars to incentivize a shift to green technologies. Agreements like these are what’s making Connecticut a national leader,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “We are reducing carbon emissions like never before as the world works together to mitigate climate change. This agreement is yet another positive step towards our goals of making the world a greener place for generations to come.”

Garcia noted that The Alliance to Save Energy’s CarbonCountTM metric will be used to provide third party certification of reductions in greenhouse gases resulting from investments made through this agreement. “The CarbonCountTM certification brings an important and independent assessment of a project’s integrity. It carries a distinction that will help encourage the market alongside the State of Connecticut to further invest in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,” continued Garcia.

The agreement with Hannon Armstrong is the largest facility ever with a state green bank. Since its creation in 2011, the Green Bank has been a leader in the movement toward green energy solutions and has been cited as an example of “best practices” in other states.

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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 Announces Policy Proposal in Support of Solar on Homes

Solar PanelsGovernor Malloy is announcing a policy to expand investment in residential solar PV in Connecticut. As we have worked together with you on this through the fall and into the winter, the policy will expand the Residential Solar Investment Program target to no less than 300 MW by 2022 through the creation of Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits (SHRECs) to support the Class I Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policy implementation.

This policy will:

  • Increase private investment of over $1 billion in the deployment of no less than 300 MW of residential solar PV in ConnecticutCreate 6,342 job-years in the growing industry and improve the state’s economy by $537 million
  • Save all ratepayers between $68-$186 million in Class I RPS compliance costs
  • This is an exciting moment for residential solar PV industry in Connecticut – and we need your attendance at the event to support Governor Malloy!

Details of the event:
Who: Governor Malloy, Rob Klee (Commissioner of DEEP) and Bryan Garcia (President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank)

What: Announcement of policy proposal to support solar on homes and jobs in Connecticut

Where: E.C. Goodwin Technical High School at 735 Slater Road in New Britain, CT 06053

When: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Why: This policy will attract more private investment in and deployment of residential solar PV in Connecticut providing benefits to all ratepayers and helping to sustainably build a growing industry

In preparation for the event, please confirm your attendance with our marketing director, Craig Connolly ([email protected]) and let him know if your company will be attending and how many members of your staff you expect to join this important event.

Again, we need your support behind Governor Malloy as he makes this important announcement!

Given the pending weather conditions, if details about the event or the announcement change, we will let you know Tuesday morning.

Regards,
Connecticut Green Bank

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Solarize Connecticut Wins “Project of Distinction Award” at PV America

Connecticut’s Green Bank, Yale, Duke & SmartPower Honored As “Driving Force” for Solar Energy

Boston, MA – Solarize Connecticut, a cutting-edge residential solar program that makes going solar easy and affordable, has been awarded the highly coveted “Project of Distinction Award” by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The Award was presented at the Annual PV America Conference on Monday.

Solarize CTSolarize Connecticut is spearheaded by Connecticut’s Green Bank and is part of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS). The entire program is a partnership with The Green Bank, SmartPower, Yale University and Duke University.

The 2015 Project of Distinction Award recognizes excellence in the industry, and to acknowledge that projects such as Solarize Connecticut and SEEDS Research are the driving force behind the success, growth, and future of solar.

“We are extremely proud of what the Green Bank and our partners have brought to Connecticut through the Solarize program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “The Project of Distinction award is truly an honor as it highlights the patent success of the Solarize model in bringing down the cost and accessibility of solar to Connecticut’s homeowners.”

“We’ve known that Solarize works,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “But to be recognized as ‘the driving force behind the success, growth and future of solar’ is a huge honor. To be sure, the real winners here, are the thousands of families across Connecticut who are now using solar power.”

“From providing a great educational opportunity to our student team at Yale to leading to cutting-edge research to truly helping Connecticut residents make an impact in meeting the state’s renewable energy goals, this collaborative project has been an unquestionable success,” said Ken Gillingham Assistant Professor at Yale University.. “We couldn’t be more happy to receive this recognition from PV America.”

“This has been an amazing collaboration between industry, government, and academia to study the factors that drive the success of the Solarize model,” said Bryan Bollinger, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Solarize is an increasingly popular program offered by the Connecticut Green Bank, formerly known as The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), in partnership with SmartPower that increases residential solar through a proven formula. It relies on an on-the-ground outreach campaign that helps educate consumers while at the same time creating awareness and walks the consumer all the way from awareness about solar to actually purchasing it.  In Connecticut over 2,000 residential homes are now powered by solar energy as a result of the Solarize Connecticut Campaign.

About The Green Bank (formerly CEFIA)

CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This quasi-public agency, now known as the Connecticut Green Bank, 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 within Connecticut and to achieve economic prosperity, job creation and energy security throughout the state. 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.

About SmartPower

SmartPower is the nation’s leading non-profit dedicated to helping Americans make clean energy decisions. Named the nation’s best non-profit marketing firm, SmartPower’s exclusive focus on energy efficiency and clean energy results in high visibility, high impact on-the-ground community campaigns designed to transform how customers use, adopt and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency.  www.smartpower.org.

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Contacts
SmartPower:
Brian F. Keane
202-775-2042

CT Green Bank:
Craig Connelly
860-257-2353

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