CastleGreen Finance Closes the Largest C-PACE Project in Connecticut

IRVINGTON, N.Y. — CastleGreen Finance is pleased to announce the closing of One Park Road, West Hartford, CT, a $13,767,000 Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) transaction. In partnership with Lexington Partners LLC, the property developer, and the Connecticut Green Bank, the program administrator for the state of Connecticut C-PACE program, CastleGreen Finance is delighted to be part of the largest C-PACE transaction to date in Connecticut.

Project Overview

For 135 years, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry have occupied a convent on Park Road in West Hartford, Connecticut. One Park Road is the redevelopment of this iconic property which will add a 292-unit multi-family housing complex on the 22-acre property while maintaining much of the greenspace and preserving the Sisters’ history and ensuring their retirement security at the property.

One wing of the historic convent will continue to be owned and occupied by the Sisters. The remaining 111,000 square feet of the Colonial Revival-style convent is undergoing renovation into a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

A new 230,000 square foot four-story building over a one-story parking deck, will be connected to the existing structures and is designed to look like a series of separate buildings while providing a neighborhood feel.

The long-discussed redevelopment of this iconic property is the result of the partnership between the Sisters of St. Joseph, Lexington Partners, and the Town of West Hartford, and it will bring new rental housing to the fast-growing Park Road/West Hartford area. Construction on the $70 million project is scheduled to begin in mid-2021, with completion expected in the spring/summer of 2023.

CastleGreen Finance has facilitated approval of the $13.7 million C-PACE project through the Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program. The project provides the project developer with access to affordable, long term financing for qualifying clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades that lower energy costs.

Martin J. Kenny, president of Lexington Partners, states, “We feel the Park Road business district is to West Hartford as Brooklyn is to New York City. The project will serve to strengthen the Park Road business district and provide a gateway to and combine with what is going on in Parkville. We needed creative financing in our capital stack to help bring this project to fruition. The CastleGreen team presented a compelling financing solution and delivered on time and as promised.”

C-PACE financing of clean, sustainable energy efficiency projects embraces the collaboration of public/private financing of energy improvements for the redevelopment of this iconic property.

Sal Tarsia, Managing Partner of CastleGreen Finance states, “Lexington Partners is a key player in the revitalization of the Park Road business district, creatively utilizing C-PACE financing for its ESG initiatives. It was a pleasure working with the Lexington team on a redevelopment which exemplifies the original purpose of what C-PACE was created for, but also respects and preserves the history of the property.”

“We are excited to see CastleGreen Finance closing their first project in Connecticut; the largest C-PACE project to date, in the state. This project is an excellent example of private capital working in the state’s open market for C-PACE financing,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank. “The redevelopment at the Sisters of St. Joseph’s convent will not only make energy usage at the property more efficient and affordable, it will create housing opportunities and continue to support the Sisters, who strive to serve all people, especially those in need. This project will make a positive impact in West Hartford and exemplifies the Green Bank’s vision of a planet protected by the love of humanity.”

About CastleGreen Finance – www.CastleGreenfinance.com

CastleGreen Finance, in partnership with X-Caliber Capital, is a private capital source focused on Commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing. CastleGreen Finance brings extensive experience in commercial real estate across a broad range of financial disciplines. The extensive real estate experience of the CastleGreen team, combined with its core C-PACE capabilities, provides our clients with the knowledge and resources to create a superior capital stack that meets all its needs and helps to unlock the potential of their commercial real estate. We understand that the most important part of any real estate transaction is showing up with the capital at closing. Our team focuses on the details of every deal to ensure we can get our clients to the finish line.

Solar For All Benefits the Poor

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial partnership expands energy-efficiency loan pool for Connecticut homeowners

Capital for Change, Amalgamated Bank, Connecticut Green Bank team up to boost successful loan program

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (May 8, 2020) – An innovative collaboration among three financial entities has set the stage for more Connecticut homeowners to gain access to energy-efficiency loans while reducing costs up to 20 percent for many utility ratepayers.

The collaboration is among Capital for Change Inc., Connecticut’s largest full-service, nonprofit community development financial institution; Amalgamated Bank; and the Connecticut Green Bank.

“This new financial model is one of the few – if not the only – such arrangements in the United States helping to boost the growth of unsecured loans supporting consumer energy-efficiency and solar loans,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President at the Green Bank.

“The model has proven to be a unique means of maximizing the leverage of ratepayer capital in achieving the state’s energy goals,” Hunter said.

“We’re deeply pleased to participate in what we believe is a new financial model for positive community development,” said Calvin B. Vinal, President and CEO of Capital for Change Inc., Connecticut’s largest full-service, nonprofit community development financial institution.

“This will allow us to make more funds available for energy-efficient and solar housing improvements in Connecticut,” Vinal said. “Participating utility ratepayers will see savings on their energy bills of 10 to 20 percent, depending on the energy measures installed and fuel source.”

“We are proud to join the Connecticut Green Bank and Capital for Change Inc. in providing energy efficiency loans to Connecticut residents,” said Keith Mestrich, president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank.

“As America’s socially responsible bank, we believe that our deposits can be used for creating a more sustainable planet and this collaboration affords us an opportunity to expand our impact,” Mestrich said.

The partnership has made available a $27 million line of credit for the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Finance Company (CEEFCo) leveraged by CEEFCo’s ratepayer funding and unsecured loan portfolio, allowing CEEFCo’s portfolio to grow to $36 million. CEEFCo is a nonprofit subsidiary of Capital for Change.

The new model allows CEEFCo to continue to grow its loan portfolio while minimizing the need for additional ratepayer capital, Hunter and Vinal said.

Financing arrangements closed in late December 2019 and took effect in February, Vinal said. At CEEFCo’s inception in 2011, initial funding was provided through legislative mandate by Connecticut energy utility Eversource, using approximately $17 million collected from ratepayers over 10 years. 

With $12.1 million of this capitalization remaining, ratepayer funding has leveraged production of 6,000 loans for $51 million of capital funding at a cost of $5 million. In the past several years, this portfolio of unsecured loans went from $12 million to $24 million, and their earlier financial partner stopped lending.

“We required a different financing model to accommodate the need, which the Green Bank understood and so introduced us to Amalgamated Bank,” said Vinal.

“We’re extremely grateful that Amalgamated appreciates the quality of our portfolio and the impact we’re having on households throughout Connecticut, and that the Green Bank responded with its own support to make it work,” Vinal said.

“In the past several years, our portfolio of unsecured loans went from $12 million to $24 million, and our earlier financial partner stopped lending,” Vinal said. “We required a different financing model to accommodate the need, which the Greenbank understood and so introduced us to Amalgamated Bank.

Amalgamated is providing $22.5 million of funding and the Connecticut Green Bank $4.5 million, with the funding secured only by CEEFCo’s assets.

“This model has proven to be a unique means of maximizing the leverage of ratepayer capital in achieving the state’s energy goals,” Vinal said.

“It’s a great collaboration with financing institutions that support community development and energy sustainability,” Vinal said. “It provides us the liquidity needed to continue to grow that portfolio and provide Connecticut residents more opportunities to save on their energy costs.”

The concept also has broad positive implications for the state’s economy, he said.

“Nationwide, the energy sector is providing jobs in numbers that are similar to those in the automotive industry, led by solar and energy efficiency,” Vinal said. “By promoting energy efficiency, proactive financial models such as this one are helping to improve the environment, create local jobs and save homeowners money.  ”

An extensive resource focusing on energy efficiency in Connecticut – including loan options – is maintained by the utility partnership Energize Connecticut at its website, EnergizeCT.com.

Learn more about Capital for Change at https://www.capitalforchange.org/ and more about Amalgamated Bank can be found at  AmalgamatedBank.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, contact: Nate Hausman, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance, nate@cleanegroup.org

Ph: 802-223-2554 x206

Lighting Manufacturer L.C. Doane Powers Facility with Sunlight

Longtime U.S. Military supplier in Ivoryton sees environmental, financial benefits of going solar

 

Ivoryton, Conn. (Aug. 12, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and the L.C. Doane Company are pleased to announce the closing of a financing agreement that will help the company expand existing solar systems on their roof. Verogy, a Hartford-based solar developer, will complete the installation.

For over 70 years the L.C. Doane company, located at 110 Pond Meadow Road in Ivoryton, Conn., has served the United States Navy and Coast Guard supplying commissioned fleets with tough, reliable MIL-Spec Shipboard lighting. Since October 2008, L.C. Doane has used solar photovoltaics on their roof to supply electricity to their 150,000 square foot factory. Now, thanks in part to the recent closing of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing through the Connecticut Green Bank, L.C. Doane is expanding their solar system to generate more energy to power their machinery. When completed, the new solar systems will add more than 200 kW of capacity.

“As a government subcontractor in the defense industry, it is essential to keep our own lights on,” said Bill Psillos, Vice President. “While manufacturing occurs under our roof, the power source is created from above. Our solar panels provide us with clean energy right on-site. Another level of U.S.-made, environmentally conscience manufacturing. As we continue to expand so does our roof!”

In addition to adding to the existing solar array and installing a larger one, L.C. Doane is also replacing roofing beneath the original panels. The total project costs are $1.46 million with the C-PACE financing covering over $1.06 million. Through C-PACE financing, the project is paid off over 10 years through a voluntary benefit assessment lien to be repaid along with their property taxes.

L.C. Doane worked with Verogy and the Connecticut Green Bank to arrange the multi-faceted project. “C-PACE allows companies the flexibility they need to solve their unique energy needs,” said William Herchel, CEO of Verogy. “We’re glad we were able to help L.C. Doane navigate the options, and find the best possible outcome.”

Project costs are being offset by a $40,000 Energy on the Line Grant, a program funded through the Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to help manufacturers lower their energy costs.

“It’s great to see a long-time Connecticut manufacturer like the L.C. Doane Company expanding their commitment to generating clean energy,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE financing is designed to make projects like this feasible, so companies can benefit from their upgrades immediately and continue to focus on their core business.”

In addition to their subcontracting work with the U.S. military, L.C. Doane’s trusted quality is designed to meet commercial lighting applications including healthcare, industrial, correctional, and institutional industries. All L.C. Doane products are designed and manufactured in the U.S.

“L.C. Doane is setting a great example for other businesses in the region, demonstrating how a commitment to sustainability can also allow building owners to reduce energy costs and remain competitive” said Jeff Pugliese, Vice President, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been an advocate for making energy efficiency and renewable energy programs more accessible to businesses in the region, and we are excited to see member businesses taking advantage of solar energy and the Green Bank’s C-PACE program.”

 

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

About the L.C. Doane Company

Lighting by the L.C. Doane Company has withstood the worst environments and toughest abuse onboard U.S. naval vessels since 1947. Utilizing our experience with shipboard lighting we have been building tough, reliable lights for other demanding environments including industrial, correctional, institutional, and commercial marine – setting new records in durability and performance. For more information about the L.C. Doane company, please visit www.lcdoane.com or contact Joe Thomas (joet@lcdoane.com).

About Verogy

Verogy originates and develops renewable energy projects across the United States to provide savings and long-term value for its clients. Verogy manages all aspects of each project to ensure optimal production and financial performance. For more information on Verogy, visit www.verogy.com.

Ferazzoli Imports of New England (Galleria Stone) Adds Solar through C-PACE

Galleria Stone will reduce operating expenses and increase efficiency

 

Middletown, CT (August 1, 2017) – Ferazzoli Imports of New England, Inc., which conducts business as Galleria Stone, an importer, distributor and fabricator of tile and natural stone, is the most recent business to reduce their energy burden by installing a renewable energy source on their building through Connecticut Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), an innovative program that helps property owners access affordable, long-term financing for smart energy upgrades to their buildings.

Northeast Smart Energy LLC of Hartford will install a 125 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to the roof of the Galleria Design Center, located at 234 Middle Street in Middletown. The estimated annual energy cost savings exceeds $37,000.

“The C-PACE financing program is the smartest long-term solution for achieving our clean energy demands,” said Jerry Martorelli, owner of Galleria Design Center. “With C-PACE, we are able to reduce operation expenses and increase efficiency, all while making a measurable impact on the environment and surrounding community.”

Through C-PACE, a building owner can pay for green energy improvements over terms up to 25 years through a voluntary benefit assessment on their property tax bill. Building owners can secure long-term, low-interest capital to fund these energy improvements, with no up-front costs required. The program is structured so that the energy savings offset the benefit assessment – meaning positive cash flow for the business – and includes a technical review process that leaves building owners feeling confident in the predicted energy savings of their project.

This project is part of Connecticut Green Bank’s Energy on the Line program, funded through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund. Energy on the Line provides supplemental funds to eligible manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the C-PACE program.

“Manufacturers, who feel the burden of energy costs more than anyone, can realize substantial benefits from green energy projects,” said Mackey Dykes, vice president of commercial, industrial and institutional programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE is a perfect fit for manufacturers, allowing them to take control of their energy costs and realize predictable positive cashflow. The solar project at Ferazzoli Imports is an excellent example of how green energy and C-PACE can improve a manufacture’s bottom line.”

For more information on Galleria Stone, please visit www.galleriastone.com, and for more information the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

 

About Ferazzoli Imports

Ferazzoli Imports of New England Inc., now doing business as Galleria Stone, was incorporated in 1988 as an importer, distributor and fabricator of tile and natural stone. Originally located in North Haven, Connecticut, Galleria Stone relocated its corporate headquarters in June 2002 to the 100,000 square foot Galleria Design Center in Middletown, CT. The Galleria Design Center includes an expansive 30,000 square foot showroom, indoor natural stone gallery and a state-of-the-art fabrication plant that helps Galleria Stone continue the tradition of elegance, craftsmanship and efficiency for which it is best known.

 

About Northeast Smart Energy

Northeast Smart Energy was established in May of 2007 by its founders whose vision is rooted in their love for our planet. Northeast Smart Energy’s primary focus is to provide people with renewable and cost effective energy solutions that reduce our dependence on polluting sources of energy. Northeast Smart Energy is ready to help you do your part by reducing your environmental impact and leaving our planet in a condition of which our children would be proud.

 

C-PACE Financed Energy Upgrades Help Connecticut Businesses Save Money, Stay Competitive

The cost of doing business can be expensive, and many Connecticut business owners might not feel that they have control over factors that result in rising costs.

Building owners know that making energy improvements is one way to reduce operating expenses, but they may not understand how to get started. They might consider energy-efficiency upgrades or explore renewables, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, but financial questions can slow or derail their investigations. Instead of moving forward, they end up with deferred maintenance and aging equipment in uncomfortable, inefficient buildings.

But what if there was a way that building owners could make energy upgrades that improved their bottom lines, resulted in positive cash flow and a competitive edge, and made their buildings more comfortable? In Connecticut, where energy costs are high, it is possible to improve a building’s energy use and efficiency and create measurable savings. This “found” money can be re-invested into the business, strengthening a company’s ability to focus on its core mission and to thrive in the future. Building owners who make these upgrades also have more comfortable buildings for their employees, tenants or customers, and contribute to a healthier community and economy in Connecticut.

Finding the right way to pay for energy upgrades, however, requires balancing business priorities. There are bank loans and lines of credit, but these can have short repayment terms or high interest. A business owner might not have the desire, or ability, to take on this type of debt. Cash payment could be an option, though this method will immediately divert funds from a business’s primary competency, and it might take time to recover the cash outlay. Paying for energy improvements in these ways means building owners give up control of their cash flow, tying up resources and distracting them from what they need to focus their attention on most.

An innovative program called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) offers a better option. Through C-PACE, a building owner can pay for green energy improvements over terms as long as 25 years through a voluntary benefit assessment on their property tax bill.

Building owners can secure long-term, low-interest capital to fund these energy improvements or renewables with no up-front costs. Best of all, the program is structured so that the energy savings offset the benefit assessment – meaning positive cash flow for the business – and includes a technical review process that leaves building owners feeling confident in the predicted energy savings of their project. This allows them to invest the savings into equipment, personnel, materials or whatever they need to achieve their goals. Deferred maintenance is no longer necessary, and renewables such as solar PV are in reach for building owners of all types, including nonprofits, manufacturers, commercial real estate, retail, and others.

For many businesses, especially those in energy-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, adding a renewable energy source can save money and enhance performance. This was the reason Paul Breglio, president of Crest Mechanical in Hartford, decided to go solar. At first, Breglio was stalled by the initial cost of the project, until he found C-PACE.

“With electricity rates being so high in Connecticut, we needed a way to bring that cost down,” said Breglio. “The C-PACE program allowed me to access low-cost and long-term financing to further support our desire to deploy solar energy and stabilize our energy costs over the long term.”

Through C-PACE, he was able to install a 55 kW roof-mounted solar PV system, which offers projected energy savings of more than $400,000 over the life of the upgrade. For Crest Mechanical, which provides services including the construction and maintenance of mechanical systems, such as HVAC and cogeneration, to commercial, industrial and institutional customers, this savings is significant.

Galleria Design Center, an importer, distributor and fabricator of tile and natural stone, whose building is easily seen from I-91 in Middletown, is using C-PACE financing to add a 125 kW solar PV system. The estimated annual energy cost savings exceeds $37,000.

“The C-PACE financing program is the smartest long-term solution for achieving our clean energy demands,” said Jerry Martorelli, owner of Galleria Design Center. “With C-PACE, we are able to reduce operation expenses and increase efficiency, all while making a measurable impact on the environment and surrounding community.”

While C-PACE is not only for those in the manufacturing sector, manufacturing facility owners recently benefited from a program called Energy On The Line, a partnership between the Connecticut Green Bank, the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, and the state Department of Economic and Community Development. The program provided up to $50,000 in grant money for project-related expenses at manufacturing facilities. 

More than 160 building owners across the state have benefited from solar PV and energy-efficiency projects financed using C-PACE, and more than $100 million in closed project financing has been made available. For more information, visit ctgreenbank.com/business.

 

 

 

Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE Program Reaches $100 Million Milestone

State’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program continues to be an economic development tool for Connecticut businesses

 

Rocky Hill, CT (July 24, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced its C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program has reached the milestone of $100 million in total closed project financing. The solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy efficiency projects, which vary in size and scope, are saving more than $9.29 million annually in energy costs for nearly 170 building owners across multiple sectors.

The Green Bank, which administers the C-PACE program, seeks to make green energy more accessible and affordable to commercial and industrial property owners by providing no money down long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. C-PACE enables building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses can achieve lower energy costs. 

Reaching $100 million in closed project financing positions Connecticut’s program as a national leader. According to market data from PACENation, an industry group promoting Property Assessed Clean Energy, California is the only state to have closed a larger total sum of project financing for commercial PACE projects.

“Connecticut’s Green Bank has really been the national leader for C-PACE,” said David Gabrielson, the Executive Director of PACENation, the national non-profit that supports development of PACE programs nationwide. “The way they administer their program has really served as a great example for other program administrators throughout the U.S., and we congratulate the entire Green Bank team on this impressive milestone.”

The project that propelled the Green Bank over this milestone will be installed at Farmington Sports Arena (FSA). FSA is a 130,000-square foot modern indoor sports facility that is home to four indoor and three outdoor artificial turf fields as well as four natural grass outdoor fields. The project, which will be installed by 64 Solar, consists of two solar PV systems (170 kW total).

Since its inception in 2011, 166 C-PACE projects have been closed in 69 of the 128 municipalities that have opted-into the program. C-PACE funds have been used in manufacturing facilities, non-profits, houses of worship, retail establishments, office buildings, and other business entities.  The projects consist of solar installations, new boilers, energy efficiency lighting measures, HVAC systems, and other energy improvements that help building owners to take control of their energy costs. Connecticut’s C-PACE program maintains an open market approach, allowing private capital providers to finance projects for building owners, and, in 2015, the Green Bank reached an agreement that provided it access to up to $100 million in private funding for C-PACE projects. Today, nearly 70% of the funding in the program consists of private capital.

“The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program reaching the $100 million in closed project financing milestone is significant,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “This achievement shows our state’s continued leadership in combating climate change while simultaneously supporting the business and non-profit sectors.”

This milestone was achieved through the efforts of many key stakeholders.

“The Connecticut Green Bank is a leader in the green energy movement, but the rapid growth of C-PACE wouldn’t be possible without the support of our contractors, capital providers, municipal officials, and other stakeholders who have contributed to the C-PACE movement,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “There is still significant potential for energy improvements for Connecticut businesses and non-profits, and we look forward to bringing cleaner and cheaper energy to more building owners across the state.”

The Connecticut Green Bank’s success, and that of the C-PACE program, has led to the Green Bank being used as a model for other states.

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Green Bank Wins Harvard’s 2017 Innovations in American Government Award

Cambridge, MA (July 19, 2017) – The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, a leading research center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, today named the Connecticut Green Bank the winner of the 2017 Innovations in American Government Award. The award, including a $100,000 grand prize to support the replication and dissemination of the initiative, will be presented at a ceremony in Hartford, Conn., later this summer. 

“It is an honor for the Connecticut Green Bank to be named the Ash Center’s Innovations in American Government Award recipient for 2017,” says Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “As cities and states across this country confront climate change, green banks can help mobilize more private investment and accelerate the growth of their local green energy economies.”

Recognized by Harvard for its “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” nomination, the Green Bank is the first of its kind in the United States and continues to be a thought-leader in green financing innovation.  Established by Governor Malloy through bipartisan support from the Connecticut General Assembly in July of 2011, the green bank model demonstrates how public resources can be better invested in ways that mobilize private investment in local green economies. From greater deployment of green energy by local contractors, to lowering consumers’ energy burden, the Green Bank is committed to realizing a vision of inclusive prosperity through its charge to protect the environment.

“The Connecticut Green Bank is an exemplar of how states can meet their climate change reduction targets by working to leverage private-sector dollars to help finance green energy infrastructure,” said Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “The success of Connecticut’s Green Bank is spurring the adoption of similar efforts by states and cities across the country, and illustrates how Hartford’s innovative approach to green energy financing can create jobs, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and lower energy bills.”

Connecticut has been at the forefront of state-level efforts to combat the threat of global climate change. The state’s 2005 Climate Change Action Plan outlined a multitude of specific steps the state could take to help lower greenhouse gas emissions. The state built upon this ambitious plan with the passage of the landmark Connecticut Global Warming Solutions Act, establishing mandatory greenhouse gas reductions targets. The aggressive goals included a 10-percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020 and an 80-percent reduction below 2001 levels by 2050. 

In creating a thriving clean energy market, the Green Bank is advancing a larger mission that not only makes green energy more accessible and affordable for Connecticut families and businesses, but also creates jobs and spurs local economic development. Since 2011, for every public dollar invested, the bank has attracted six dollars of private investment. An estimated 13,000 jobs have been created through the Green Bank, which has also driven a total of $1 billion of clean energy investment across the state. This translates to more than 215 megawatts of clean power, over 20,000 projects, and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tons. As for cost, clean energy prices have decreased by an estimated 20–30 percent. 

“The Connecticut Green Bank has sparked a green bank movement.  Our simple promise of increasing affordability and accessibility to green energy has evolved into a greater commitment to our stakeholders,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “We believe that everything we do, we do to help families thrive and businesses grow.  We do it in the interest of achieving inclusive prosperity not only within Connecticut and across the country, but around the world.”

The Innovations in American Government Award is the nation’s preeminent recognition for excellence and creativity in the public sector. The award program receives thousands of applications which are evaluated on criteria to assess their novelty, effectiveness, significance, and transferability. The Ford Foundation created the Innovations in American Government Awards in 1985 in response to widespread pessimism and distrust in government’s effectiveness. 

Since its inception, over 500 government innovations across all jurisdiction levels have been recognized and have collectively received more than $22 million in grants to support dissemination efforts. 

Additional Resources

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.

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. 

 

 

Manchester Housing Authority begins $2.7 million energy efficiency and solar PV project

Project includes one of the first and largest ground mounted solar-PV systems at a state housing authority

 

Manchester, CT (June 26, 2017) – The Housing Authority of the Town of Manchester announces the completion of a 125 kW ground mount solar photovoltaic (PV) system that produces electricity from the sun at Westhill Garden apartments. This is part of a $2.7 million project that improves the energy efficiency and reduces utility costs for 275 units of the Housing Authority’s affordable senior housing portfolio.  

Manchester Housing Authority was established in 1958 and includes 455 total housing units across four sites.

This solar PV system is the largest ground mounted system serving a housing authority in the state of Connecticut, and among the first at a state housing authority. The electricity generated will serve 199 of the complex’s apartments, as well as the housing authority office. The system is expected to produce energy savings of approximately $25,000 per year and provide additional revenue to the Housing Authority under a long-term Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) contract between the Housing Authority and Eversource, which should generate approximately $12,800 annually for 15 years.

Under an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc. installed a variety of energy conservation measures for this project, including heating systems upgrades; heat source conversions (from electric to gas); water-conservation measures (such as low flow showerheads and faucet aerators); and electrical upgrades such as LED lighting. The HUD EPC program provides incentives to public housing authorities across the country to implement energy and water savings improvements to their housing units. By leveraging energy performance contracting, this cost-effective solution pays for infrastructure upgrades with guaranteed energy savings over time.

The entire $2.7 million energy upgrade project was funded with private capital using bonds arranged by the boutique investment bank Crews & Associates, including $1.3 million from the Housing Development Fund (HDF), a Stamford-based Community Development Financial Institution. HDF’s funds for the project came from a program related investment funded by the MacArthur Foundation and secured by the Connecticut Green Bank.