Communications Tower in Bolton First Known in U.S. to Use C-PACE Financing to Install Solar Array

Environmentally-conscious tower owner Marcus Communications will benefit from significant energy savings

Rocky Hill, CT (Dec. 14, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the closing of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing for the installation of a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system at a 450-foot telecommunications tower owned by Marcus Communications LLC. Located in Bolton, the tower and support equipment provide communication services, including emergency services, to a wide array of customers and clients. This is the first time that C-PACE has been used to finance a project at a communications tower in the United States, according to PACENation, a national nonprofit association that advocates for PACE financing

“As the first use of PACE on a communications tower, this innovative project is a model for how PACE can be used to increase the sustainability of our critical infrastructure. We applaud the work of the Green Bank in completing this project and look forward to seeing more deals like this one,” said Colin Bishopp, Executive Director of PACENation.

The tower was originally constructed in 1995 and extended in 2005, going from a 300-ft to 450-ft, to become the tallest tower in Eastern Connecticut. In recent years, leaders at Marcus Communications have begun an initiative at their office to minimize the company’s impact on the environment through improvements such as installing energy efficient lighting, solar panels, heating and cooling systems, and by providing free electric vehicle charging to employees, vendors and customers.

“We continue to be proactive in our efforts to be environmentally responsible and actively pursue solutions and enhancements that support that vision,” said Bruce Marcus, CTO, Marcus Communications LLC. “This solar project is a great example. We are proud of the work we are doing to move the world towards renewable energy.”

The 76 kW-AC solar PV system will be installed by Marcus Communications with guidance from Harness the Sun LLC of Lebanon. The project is estimated to save the company more than $740,000, over the 25-year effective useful life of the panels. The total project cost is approximately $250,000.

“It’s exciting to see new types of properties taking advantage of C-PACE financing to improve their energy efficiency or add renewables,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Financing Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “We hope that other communications companies follow the example that the team at Marcus has set.”

To see a video of the installation, please visit https://youtu.be/AXQT–XNxec

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank. The Green Bank’s mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com

About Marcus Communications

Marcus Communications was founded in 1969 in Connecticut by owner, CTO, and LMR industry innovator Bruce Marcus. While the technology from 1969 to today has changed completely, our core mission remains the same. We manage your communications with an innovative array of technical solutions. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of customers achieve better safety and efficiency by supercharging their communications. When you choose Marcus, you’re not choosing just any communications company. Your choosing the premiere leader in communications. Your choosing a company that hires veterans and gives back to the community, supporting events like the Hartford Marathon or the Special Olympics. You’re choosing the leaders who work tirelessly to research and develop cutting-edge solutions for its customers. To learn more, please visit https://www.marcuscommunications.com/.

Connecticut Green Bank and Its EV Charging Partners Register the First Validated Multi-Partner Carbon Offset Credit Project

Project Paves Way for More EV Charging Stations and Partners Across the U.S.

HARTFORD, CONN. (December 9, 2020) — Connecticut Green Bank (“Green Bank”) and its partners are proud to announce a unique collaboration that is the first joinable, grouped carbon offset credit project registered under the new methodology for electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. The project design has been successfully validated under Verra’s internationally recognized Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program by third-party verification firm, SCS Global Services. 

CT Green Bank’s expanding roster of project partners, which currently includes EV pioneers Volta, U-Go Stations which was recently acquired by Blink Charging, Proterra, and the Ev Structure Company – with Dominion Energy joining – already have 725 EV charging stations across the United States enrolled with the project. With registered carbon credits, this validated project, once verified in mid-2021, is expected to bring in new funding from the carbon capital markets, which will increase the value proposition and accelerate the deployment of EV charging infrastructure in communities across the U.S.

“This is a partnership between innovators who are each working to secure a safer and healthier future for the communities they serve by addressing a key challenge in mitigating climate change – deploying charging infrastructure for electric vehicles,” said Bert Hunter, CT Green Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. “We’re proud to debut this project as a scalable climate finance solution that – like the Green Bank itself – sources investment capital from private markets.”

These partners span sectors from electricity-powered transit buses to public destination charging stations and infrastructure, providing reliability for EV drivers.

  • Volta designs, builds and operates extensive networks of free charging, located in the most convenient, most utilized, high traffic locations.
  • Blink Charging (Nasdaq: BLNK) is a leading owner and operator of EV charging solutions. Blink recently acquired U-Go Stations who pioneered early high-speed EV charger deployments.
  • Proterra is a leading U.S. manufacturer of electric buses and technology provider for commercial electric vehicles.
  • EvStructure was among the earliest integrated services companies to install EV charging, and most recently introduced the first charging network to the largest Harley-Davison outlet in Utah.

Additional sites will be added over time throughout the project, and diverse new partners are already seeking to join the project to secure access to the carbon capital markets for their EV charging systems and take advantage of the Green Bank’s unique value proposition as a way for projects to scale up over time and reduce transaction costs.

Jeff Allen of Forth, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating e-mobility, said, “We congratulate the Connecticut Green Bank and its partners and look forward to working with them to help other businesses and organizations take advantage of this innovative financing strategy.” 

“In addition to reducing our own emissions, Dominion Energy is committed to helping accelerate greenhouse gas reductions in other industries like transportation,” said Mark Webb, Chief Innovation Officer, Dominion Energy. “As we continue to invest in the electrification of transportation through programs like workplace charging, our electric school bus program, a greener fleet, and other EV incentives, this partnership will allow us to take concrete steps to quantify those carbon reductions.”

In this first example of an EV charger carbon offset credit multi-partner project, Green Bank partners may enroll their selected EV chargers to create carbon credits from their EV charger datasets, which opens private carbon capital as a new source of investment for EV charging. The result is a performance-based system where EV chargers earn funds based upon the amount of electricity dispensed to vehicles, factoring in the carbon intensity of the electricity used.

The Green Bank was among a coalition of companies collectively awarded an Innovative Partnership Certificate for methodology development at the 2019 Climate Leadership Conference, hosted by C2ES and The Carbon Registry. “We welcome this innovative new partnership and the first-of-its-kind electric vehicle carbon emissions offset program,” says Bob Perciasepe, President of C2ES. “Expanding charging infrastructure and incentivizing increased uptake of electric vehicles is essential for decarbonizing our economy by 2050. We look forward to seeing new private capital through this program and hope this partnership will inspire others to join the collaborative project in the future.”


Quotes from Partners:

“EV charging should be a natural experience, not a chore. Volta’s free charging network goes where people work, shop, and play. This breakthrough with voluntary carbon credits adds even more value to the equation, which in turn supports the availability and deployment of free charging. We look forward to working with Connecticut Green Bank.” – Dr. Abdellah Cherkaoui, Senior VP of Government, Automotive & Utilities, Volta

“Transitioning to zero-emission transportation means cleaner air and healthier communities. As fleet operators embrace electric vehicles and reduce their carbon emissions, it’s also an opportunity to create even more financial value. By offering carbon credits for the voluntary purchase market, we look forward to working with the Green Bank to enhance the value proposition for our customers.” – Gareth Joyce, President, Proterra Powered and Energy

“Blink has been a pioneer among national charging networks. With our recent acquisition of U-Go Stations, we are pleased to continue U-Go’s partnership for its charging stations with the Green Bank, and examine the expansion opportunities this opens up for the rest of our network.” – Brendan Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Blink Charging

“Being in the business means knowing how to spot opportunities, and this innovative project is a game-changer. As a company’s that’s been among the earliest in EV charging in the US, EvStructure is proud to call itself a founding partner. We look forward to finding new ways to integrate this into our core business, and potentially into others’ businesses.” – Todd Ritter, President, EvStructure

“Congratulations to Connecticut Green Bank and its partners on achieving the first-ever grouped project validation in the EV arena. They have demonstrated a reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the baseline case of fueling and driving gasoline-powered vehicles under the new VM0038, Methodology for Electric Vehicle Charging Systems v1.0, and we celebrate their innovation of collaborating as a grouped project.” – Dr. Letty B. Brown, program manager of GHG verification, SCS Global Services

“It’s great to see the successful registration of the first grouped Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station project that can generate carbon credits under the VCS Program. The transportation sector is a huge source of GHG emissions and this project is an important step towards providing climate finance for the underlying infrastructure needed to get more EVs on the road, and thus achieving emission reductions at scale.” – David Antonioli, CEO of Verra

“Since Electrify America created the first ever project to use the Verified Carbon Standard methodology for EV charging, we couldn’t be happier to welcome the arrival of this second project.  Connecticut Green Bank’s aggregation model provides a nice platform for other companies with charging assets to enjoy the financial benefits of their investments without the legwork of applying for their own projects.” – Wayne Killen, Director of Infrastructure Planning & Business Development, Electrify America


Program Contact:

Matt Macunas, Legislative Liaison & Associate Director of Transportation Initiatives, Connecticut Green Bank, Matt.Macunas@ctgreenbank.com

Media Contacts:

Justin May, Gaffney Bennett Public Relations, jmay@gbpr.com

Rudy Sturk, Sr. Manager of Marketing Innovation, Connecticut Green Bank, Rudy.Sturk@ctgreenbank.com


About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank. The Green Bank’s mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com


About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in climate mitigation, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information visit www.scsglobalservices.com and learn more about carbon offset verification at https://www.scsglobalservices.com/services/carbon-offset-verification.

Contact:  Nikki Helms, Marketing Project Manager, nhelms@scsglobalservices.com,   (510) 295-0667


About Verra

Verra is a global leader helping to tackle the world’s most intractable environmental and social challenges by developing and managing standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals. 

Verra develops and manages standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals. Verra’s global standards frameworks serve as linchpins for channeling finance towards high-impact activities that tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.

For more information about Verra visit www.verra.org and for more information about the Verified Carbon Standard Program go to https://verra.org/project/vcs-program/

Contact:  Anne Thiel, Communications Manager,  athiel@verra.org, (202) 470-5664


About Volta

For over a decade, Volta has been building a nationwide electric vehicle charging network to drive the world forward. Named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery, Volta’s award-winning charging stations benefit brands, consumers, and real-estate locations by providing valuable advertising space to businesses and free charging to drivers. Strategically located in places where consumers already spend their time and money, Volta is creating the sustainable fueling network of the 21st century. Headquartered in San Francisco, Volta chargers are currently the most utilized electric vehicle charging stations in the United States. To learn more, visit voltacharging.com.


About Ugo Stations / Blink Charging

On November 20, 2020 U-Go Stations announced its acquisition by Blink Charging and the transition of their EV charging assets into the Blink portfolio and network.  Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK) is a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and has deployed more than 23,000 charging stations, many of which are networked EV charging stations, enabling EV drivers to easily charge at any of the Company’s charging locations worldwide. Blink Charging’s principal line of products and services include its Blink EV charging network (“Blink Network”), EV charging equipment, and EV charging services.

Contact:  Rebecca Gutierrez, Blink Charging VP of Marketing, rgutierrez@blinkcharging.com, (305) 521-0200 x209


About Proterra

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric transit vehicles and Proterra Powered electric vehicle technology solutions for heavy-duty applications. Since 2004, Proterra technology has been proven through more than 14 million miles on the road in purpose-built electric transit buses. As major cities are converting to 100% electric fleets, Proterra vehicles have become the most popular electric buses on the road in North America. Proterra has sold more than 1,000 electric buses to 125 communities across 43 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, with more than 10 years of deliveries.

Contact:  Shane Levy, Corporate Communications, slevy@proterra.com, (201) 679-9507


About the Ev Structure Company

EvStructure was among the earliest integrated service companies to install the very first public fleet level 2 non-networked EV charging stations, in 1998, for the cities of Pasadena and Santa Monica for the Toyota RAV4 electric city fleet pilot program. In 2008, EvStructure installed charging for Los Angeles Police Department – the largest to use EVs. Most recently EvStructure introduced the first charging network to the largest Harley-Davison dealership in Utah. 


About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.

Contact: Samantha Moore, samantha.q.moore@dominionenergy.com, (804) 771-6115


About Electrify America
Electrify America LLC, the largest open DC fast charging network in the U.S., is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. Electrify America expects to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December 2021. During this period, the company will be expanding to 29 metros and 45 states, including two cross-country routes, delivering on its commitment to support increased ZEV adoption with a network that is comprehensive, technologically advanced and customer friendly. Electrify America’s Electrify Home® offers home charging solutions for consumers with flexible installation options. Electrify Commercial® provides expert solutions for businesses looking to develop electric vehicle charging programs. For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com and media.electrifyamerica.com.

Contact: Mike Moran, Mike.Moran@electrifyamerica.com, (703) 872-7936


About Forth

Forth is a nonprofit organization advancing electric, shared and smart transportation through innovation, demonstration, advocacy, and engagement. For more information, visit www.forthmobility.org.

Contact: Kevin Friedman, kevinf@forthmobility.org, (503) 381-4085


About C2ES

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Its mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Contact:  press@c2es.org (703) 516-4146

Construction Nears Completion at Connecticut’s First Biogas Dairy Digester System

Fort Hill Farms digester will produce renewable energy and soil products from food waste and manure

Thompson, Conn. (Nov.  19, 2020) – Earlier this summer, ground was broken at Fort Hill Farms in Thompson to begin the construction of Connecticut’s first biogas dairy digester system that will recycle food waste and manure into renewable energy and soil products. The project is moving forward thanks to a partnership between the farm, Live Oak Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, and Ag-Grid Energy. When completed, the digester is expected to produce 550 kilowatts of electricity and reduce 25,000 tons of organic waste annually.

“I want to thank everyone who played a role in helping this first-of-its-kind project in Connecticut become a reality, from the Department of Agriculture providing funding assistance through the Farm Transition Grant for the project’s planning phase, to financing by the Green Bank,” Governor Lamont said.  “Scaling up infrastructure that manages organic waste is so critical for our state’s sustainability goals.  This innovative project is a win for our economy and our environment, and something that we hope to advance more of through DEEP’s participation in the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management, launched in August.”

Fort Hill Farms is a fourth-generation farm that currently has over 400 cows, 230 milking, and is part of two dairy farm cooperatives named The Farmer’s Cow and Agri-Mark (Cabot Cheese), which supplies products to both large, big box groceries and local markets. The farm has been regarded as “Best in New England” by Yankee Magazine, named Connecticut Tourism Ambassadors, and in 2013 was the first ever winner of Thompson’s “Business of the Year” Award. Due to their focus on local products and being named Connecticut Tourism Ambassadors, the farm is a popular destination for people to enjoy.

“Cows produce cow manure which can fertilize your gardens or make electricity for your home. This completes the circle, growing the food to feed the cows and then using cow manure to power our farm,” said Kies Orr, co-owner and operator of Fort Hill Farms. “It just feels good to be doing the right thing and being sustainable for the next generation.”

The digester project was developed by Ag-Grid Energy LLC, a company focused on anaerobic digestion technology, and is being constructed by Martin Construction Resource.

“Ag-Grid Energy is very excited to lead the installation of first dairy digester that produces renewable electricity in State of Connecticut,” said Dr. Rashi Akki, Founder and CEO of Ag-Grid Energy. “This project is a culmination of State’s supportive net-metering and food waste diversion laws.  It has also been an excellent partnership between Town of Thompson, NRCS, DEEP and Eversource to allow for permitting of this very first such installation.  We thank the City of Middletown and City of New Britain for also supporting this project by being the pioneers and purchasing the renewable electricity. We thank Connecticut Green Bank and Live Oak Bank for financially supporting this project and Ag-Grid Energy in general.”

There are a number of benefits of integrating an anaerobic digester with a dairy farm. It helps to enhance farm sustainability with improved manure management, generates an additional income stream for the farm, and produces steady electricity generation. A digester also helps reduce methane emissions coming from cow manure, improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gases.

“We are very excited to have played a role in this project’s financing, and to help a local family farm continue to find ways to become more sustainable while creating a great product and being a tourist attraction,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank. “Anytime we are involved with a ‘first’ in the state that supports our joint energy and environmental goals and opens doors to similar future projects, it’s a win for everyone.”

This project is being financed by Live Oak Bank as the senior lender, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Lender and Development Company Loan Program, a grant from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (“REAP”), a grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and the developer’s own equity investment.

“Live Oak is very grateful to assist the development of this innovative project and support the joint venture between Fort Hill Farms and Ag-Grid,” said Max Vernier, VP, Head of Bioenergy, at Live Oak. “This is another great step forward in the decarbonization of the U.S., especially for the state of Connecticut, and a flagship project led by an impressive team of experts to demonstrate the full capability of a circular economy.”

Construction is anticipated to be completed in December 2020.

 

About Ag-Grid Energy LLC

Ag-Grid Energy LLC was established by Rashi Akki on March 30, 2016 a Delaware limited liability company.  Ag-Grid Energy has a vision to drive dairy farm sustainability by converting agricultural and organic waste to energy, enhance nutrient management practices thereby improving farm viability and financial stability.  This is accomplished by partnering with dairy farms, local utilities, local food waste providers and local regulatory bodies to develop stand-alone special purpose entities that support the states mission of renewable energy and waste reduction.  For more information about Ag-Grid Energy LLC, please visit www.aggridenergy.com.

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, its mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

About Fort Hill Farms

Fort Hill Farms is a family-owned and-operated dairy farm located in Thompson. The farm has been active through three generations in over 70 years. We thrive on sustainability and educating people about local farming. To learn more visit https://forthillfarms.com/.

About Live Oak Bank

Live Oak was established in 2007, and we’re on a mission to be America’s small business bank.  We are proud to contribute to the growth of small businesses, drive job creation, create prosperity and boost local economies by structuring creative capital investments. Live Oak is the largest SBA lender and the largest USDA Rural Development lender in the country by volume of originations. Our project finance team has deployed over $1B in debt investments to the renewable energy sector since 2016 and will continue to accelerate the shift to sustainability.

Connecticut’s First Clean Energy Industry Report Released

Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors evaluates Connecticut’s Clean Energy jobs; pre-pandemic workforce saw an increase of 9.1% from 2015

Rocky Hill, CT (Nov. 10, 2020) – According to a recently released 2020 Connecticut Clean Energy Industry Report, more than 44,000 people, an increase of 9.1% from 2015, made up the clean energy workforce in Connecticut in 2019. In total, clean energy jobs accounted for 2.6% of all jobs and a gross state product of $6.5 billion in Connecticut in 2019.

This is the first joint job study produced by the Connecticut Green Bank, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Eversource, and United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., operating through the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board (EEB) and the Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors.

“A robust clean energy workforce is essential to delivering the benefits of energy efficiency programs to ratepayers. In these uncertain economic times, establishing a baseline estimate of these jobs is critical for maintaining and growing a green employment base in Connecticut,” said Neil W. Beup, Energy Efficiency Board Chair.

Based on analysis from BW Research, employment in this report is broken out into five major technology sectors and clean energy-specific sub-technologies. The major clean energy sectors are: energy efficiency; clean energy generation; alternative transportation; clean grid and storage; and clean fuels.

In addition to jobs data, the report details clean energy employment by value chain segment, clean energy wages and wage premiums, employer hiring difficulties, geographic opportunity zones, and the demographic distribution of clean energy workers compared to state- and nationwide averages.

Some highlights include:

  • Since 2015, full-time equivalent clean energy jobs in Connecticut have grown by 13.9%, indicating that employees are spending more of their time on clean energy work in the state.
  • Energy efficiency workers represent eight out of 10 clean energy jobs. This sector has also seen the greatest growth since 2017, creating 1,257 new jobs— a growth rate of 3.6%.
  • Clean energy generation is the second largest sector. Businesses in this sector employ 4,830 workers and experienced a growth rate of 6.2% from 2017 to 2019. The majority of these workers are in the solar or nuclear sectors.
  • The majority of the surveyed clean energy jobs pay more than their corresponding occupational average, especially for entry-level workers. In total, just over three-quarters (76.9%) of clean energy jobs in Connecticut earn more than the corresponding occupational average across all levels of experience. For entry-level workers in particular, 92% of surveyed occupations are paid a premium.
  • Hiring difficulty in the clean energy industry in Connecticut was lower than the national clean energy industry average. The biggest challenges cited by employers were potential workers lacking experience, training or technical skills, and a small applicant pool for open positions.
  • Connecticut has a higher-than-average concentration of Veterans in the clean energy industry compared to the statewide workforce overall and the national clean energy industry average. Women and Hispanic or Latinx and Black or African American individuals are underrepresented compared to overall averages.

“While it’s good to see hiring challenges faced by clean energy employers are lower than those experienced nation-wide, there is still plenty of opportunity for job growth in the sector in Connecticut,” said Lonnie Reed, Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Board of Directors. “As we continue to strive to bring energy efficiency and renewables to all of society, we will need to create job opportunities across all demographics.”

The report also briefly explores the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as the shutdown caused more than 6,500 industry job losses in March, April and May. The energy efficiency sector suffered the most with nearly 85% of these lost jobs in that sector. Overall, the pandemic derailed projected industry growth for the year, which had been estimated to surpass 46,000 clean energy jobs by the end of 2020; the current projection is now 40,668 jobs by year end, less than total number of clean energy jobs at the end of 2016. A separate survey of clean energy contractors painted a stark picture of the impact and recovery, which most responded would take between 6-12 months after “stay at home” orders were lifted.

“While COVID-19 has impacted our progress, it has not weakened our resolve,” said Eric Brown, Chair of the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the CT Green Bank. “Through the Energize CT initiative, we are committed to building a vibrant, resilient, and growing clean energy industry for Connecticut that can withstand future pandemics, budget pressures or other unforeseen challenges.”

In collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Labor and their Office of Workforce Competitiveness, a set of career profiles in clean energy were created that identify the requisite level of education, salary range, health care and retirement benefits, and more for ten specific clean energy technology jobs.  To see these profiles, please visit CT DOL’s Connecticut Green Occupations website.

To access the full report, please click here. A webinar presenting the report’s findings was held on Wednesday, Nov. 18; a recording of that webinar can be found here and the slides can be accessed here

About Energize CT and the Joint Committee:

Energize CT is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., and Eversource, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Learn more at www.EnergizeCT.com

Joint Committee

Pursuant to Section 16-245m(d)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Joint Committee shall examine opportunities to coordinate programs and activities contained in the plan developed under Section 16-245n(c) (i.e., Comprehensive Plan of the Green Bank) with the programs and activities contained in the plan developed under Section 16-245m(d)(1) (i.e., Conservation and Load Management Plan), and to provide financing to increase the benefits of programs funded by the plan developed under Section 16-245m(d)(1) so as to reduce the long-term cost, environmental impacts, and security risks of energy in the state.

To support the Joint Committee, the following is a principal statement to guide its activities: The Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank have a shared goal to implement state energy policy throughout all sectors and populations of Connecticut with continuous innovation towards greater leveraging of ratepayer funds and a uniformly positive customer experience.

Industrial Space at 75 Crystal Avenue Adds Solar Power

Energy savings, environmental commitment motivate property owner to use C-PACE financing

New London, Conn. (Sept. 29, 2020) – Thames River Properties LLC is pleased to announced the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their 75 Crystal Avenue, New London, property using Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing through the Connecticut Green Bank. Originally erected in 1965, the 35,000 square foot single story building primarily serves as rental space for industrial and commercial tenants.

“We are very much looking forward to the savings that we expect to make due to this installation,” said John Johnson, principal of Thames River Properties. “Working with Advanced Energy Efficiencies, we created a great clean energy project. Our tenants will benefit almost as much as the owner of the building. Installing roof-top solar energy panels demonstrates to our community and tenants our environmental commitment for clean, efficient energy. The Green Bank has been most helpful in this process, and we thank them for their cooperation.”

The 69.9 kilowatt (kw) system will be installed by JD Solar Solutions of Glastonbury. Over the 25-year estimated useful life of the solar panels, the installation is projected to provide more than $500,000 in electricity cost savings.

This is the second property at which Thames River’s management has used C-PACE financing through the Green Bank to install a solar system. In 2015, a solar system at Quiambaug Cove Professional Center, 107 Wilcox Road, Stonington, which provides office space for wellness, healthcare, and law practitioners, was financed using C-PACE.

C-PACE allows property owners to install energy efficiency upgrades or renewables on their buildings without upfront costs using financing that is repaid through the town’s property tax billing system as a benefit assessment akin to a water or sewer assessment. Through C-PACE, energy savings projections help building owners to feel confident that expected savings should exceed their investment and result in positive cashflow.

“The Green’s Bank C-PACE program has financed 10 projects at diverse properties in New London, including car and motorcycle dealerships, a restaurant, office buildings and now a manufacturing space,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Financing Programs at the Green Bank. “It’s great to see building owners realizing the savings potential in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, and moving forward with these projects that immediately have a positive impact on the bottom line.”

Other building owners looking to finance energy efficiency upgrades or add solar should visit www.cpace.com to learn more.

Connecticut Green Bank Announces Open Request for Proposals for Green Bank Capital Solutions

Seeking to further catalyze green investment in the state, the open RFP provides access to developers and others with projects that need financial acceleration

Rocky Hill, CT (July 29, 2020) – Through its Open Request for Proposals for Green Bank Capital Solutions, the Connecticut Green Bank plans to further catalyze the green energy economy in Connecticut by providing access by project developers and others to capital. Projects financed through the RFP would either not happen or be realized at a much slower pace or with less impact without the Green Bank’s participation.

“The Open RFP for Green Bank Capital Solutions will support a variety of developers and capital providers – from emerging developers of commercially established technologies to well-established manufacturers of emerging technologies and lenders and investors of all types,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer for the Green Bank. “We’ve seen other green banks, specifically the New York Green Bank and Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, successfully use similar open and ongoing solicitations to bring in project proposals. We believe this approach in Connecticut will also produce much needed investment in our state, jobs and clean energy impact.”

The RFP is open to technologies that have already proven to be commercially viable or have demonstrated clear potential for commercial viability through well-documented feasibility studies or pilot programs with clear evidence of a viable business model and path to sustainable impact.

All proposals must support Connecticut’s goals for clean energy deployment and energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases, improved public health outcomes, job creation and economic development.

True to the green bank model, this open RFP will allow the Green Bank to leverage public dollars to bring in multiples of private investment and potentially other investment partners. It is important to note that the Open RFP is not intended to be a venture capital program nor will it seek to assume risks that do not align with the Green Bank’s mission. At its core, the Green Bank is a special purpose financial institution, with a responsibility to be good stewards of funds committed to it by statute to promote the clean energy and resiliency goals of the state.

Proposers interested in learning more can access the RFP on the Green Bank’s website: https://www.ctgreenbank.com/about-us/open-rfps/

Sweet Sunlight: Solar Energy to Power DiMare Pastry Shop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drone image from 64Solar

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

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

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

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

About 64Solar

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

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C-PACE Program Announces Quarter One 2020 Stats

Connecticut’s C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program continues to be successful thanks to pacesetters, the building owners, contractors, municipalities, and other stakeholders who use this innovative financing structure to make energy improvements.

In Quarter 1 of 2020, the program reached 308 total funded projects in Connecticut, and the total amount of project financing has surpassed $164 million. Building owners are continuing to find that C-PACE is an innovative way to make money-saving clean energy projects viable at their properties.

With 134 cities and towns participating in the program, building owners across the state can access C-PACE financing for projects from small to large, with the average project size cost above $500,000. Any upgrade that reduces energy costs or produces renewable energy, like solar photovoltaic systems, can qualify for C-PACE.

To learn more about how C-PACE can help your building, please visit www.cpace.com.  To see more Quarter 1 stats, go to https://www.cpace.com/quarterly

Connecticut Green Bank expands clean energy investment with Green Liberty Bond (podcast)

April 23, 2020The Bond Buyer recently interviewed Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Managing Director of Operations Eric Shrago about Green Liberty Bonds and the role this new subcategory of bond will play in expanding clean energy investment. These small-denomination retail-investor focused municipal bonds are modeled after the World War II Series E bonds, and the proceeds are independently certified to confront climate change.

Listen to The Bond Buyer podcast here.

To learn more about Green Liberty Bonds and sign-up for notifications, please visit www.greenlibertybonds.com

Smart-E Lenders Eligible to Support the Paycheck Protection Program “Step-Up” for Connecticut’s Clean Energy Industry

CorePlus Credit Union, Ion Bank, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and Union Savings Bank are available to help local clean energy contractors access federal aid

Rocky Hill, CT (April 13, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank, working in collaboration with local community banks and credit unions, is helping connect small businesses to lenders supporting the state’s clean energy industry to access federal assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Office of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Green Bank, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Eversource, and Avangrid wrapped up a series of informational webinars for small businesses in the clean energy industry on state and federal aid, including unemployment insurance and the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program

“Connecticut’s clean energy industry, which has taken decades to build, is suffering the negative impacts of this pandemic,” said Vicki Hackett, Deputy Commissioner of DEEP.  “It’s critical that we act swiftly to help our small businesses and workforce in the clean energy industry understand and access state and federal relief so that, as the current crisis subsides, they are ready and able to contribute to Connecticut’s economic recovery.”

On Friday, March 27, Congress passed, and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill to address the economy-wide impacts of COVID-19.  Included in the CARES Act is $349 billion to help small businesses stay open and provide direct incentive for them to keep their workers on the payroll through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“In order to continue our outreach, and to provide further assistance to Connecticut’s clean energy businesses, we approached our local community banks and credit unions that support the Smart-E Loan program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “A few of the Smart-E Loan program lenders are also lenders supporting the CARES Act, which is great because they can provide direct assistance for those small businesses that may or may not have a direct relationship with a financial institution that is eligible to lend under the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Although the PPP is a large federal emergency assistance program to help small businesses manage through the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut businesses are encouraged to act now to secure access to these funds. “Connecticut’s businesses should, if they haven’t done so already, look into the Paycheck Protection Program, as a way to help them manage through this crisis,” says Jorge Perez, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Banking  “Our local community banks and credit unions are here to assist you.”

The following Smart-E Loan program lenders are supporting applications to the Paycheck Protection Program:

Supporting existing and new clients:

  • CorePlus Credit Union
  • Ion Bank
  • Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union

Supporting existing clients only:

“We are working hard to help the community during this unprecedented time. Our ability to lend through the SBA and offer assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program have been really valuable to businesses in the community,” said Nutmeg Credit Union CEO John Holt.

Administered by the Green Bank in partnership with nine local lenders (community banks, credit unions and a community development financial institution), the Smart-E Loan offers long-term, low-cost financing for more than 40 qualifying energy improvements. A network of over 500 eligible local contractors completes these upgrades, including insulation, windows, efficient heating and cooling, electric vehicle home charging stations, and solar systems.