Deadline Extended on Program Offering Free EV Charging Stations to Commercial Properties Using C-PACE Financing for Efficiency Projects

Charge Up CT Buildings campaign pairs growing EV demand with need for property efficiency

Rocky Hill, Conn. (December 16, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank announces a deadline extension on its Charge Up CT Buildings program, an initiative that offers free electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to commercial property owners who use Connecticut Green Bank C-PACE financing. The new deadline is April 30, 2021. Originally launched in January 2020, the initiative was put on hold in March due to COVID-19 restrictions and restarted in September.  With dozens of inquiries already submitted, the Green Bank anticipates many other property owners will express interest in the coming months.

C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative financing tool that provides building owners with access to 100% financing for energy improvements, realize positive cash flow immediately, and create more comfortable, efficient buildings. C-PACE can also support building owners in reducing operating expenses and increasing cash flow, providing a vital lifeline to help businesses get through tough economic times. Plus, the Green Bank is currently offering flexible payment options for new borrowers that let them choose to defer or pay interest-only on initial payments, offering borrowers ways to improve their building and save energy while freeing up cash and receiving immediate financial relief.

The addition of free EV charging equipment means property owners leveraging C-PACE won’t just be using the clean energy financing mechanism as a tool to improve their financial position in the near term, but also to modernize their buildings and position them more competitively in the future. Whether building tenants are commercial or residential, as the EV market continues to grow, properties with charging stations can lead the way.

To qualify for a free EV charging station, energy saving projects must utilize at least $150,000 in Green Bank C-PACE financing with at least 20% of the total project costs going toward non-renewable measures. Larger projects may be eligible to receive up to three electric vehicle charging stations. Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE team will work with building owners to determine if their project is eligible for the C-PACE program and Charge Up CT Buildings incentive. 

For more information about the initiative, please visit https://chargeupctbuildings.com/  or call 866-324-0099.

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

Connecticut’s Energy and Transportation Costs are Unaffordable for Many Households, Especially the Most Vulnerable

New report shows gap between what Connecticut families are paying for energy and transportation and what is affordable, creating a cost burden for lower income households

Rocky Hill, CT (Dec. 1, 2020) – According to a recently released report, combined spending on energy, transportation, and housing in Connecticut households exceeds affordable levels in areas throughout the state. On average, these costs are 49% statewide, which is above the 45% threshold for affordability. Low- and moderate-income households are burdened at a higher rate – 68% – than wealthier residents because these costs consume a larger portion of their household income.

These findings are from “Mapping Household Energy and Transportation Affordability in Connecticut,” a study produced by VEIC on behalf of the Connecticut Green Bank and Operation Fuel. The report was partially funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant for research into strategies for improving access to solar for low-income communities. The Connecticut Green Bank, in partnership with the Clean Energy States Alliance, the grant’s managing organization, has been exploring energy’s intersection with other low-income household burdens.

The study focused on spending in three categories: building energy (household heating fuel and electricity); transportation (vehicle fuel, transit costs, and vehicle ownership costs); and housing (total shelter costs, insurance, taxes, fees, etc.). Examining these categories, VEIC was able to determine the cost burden, household spending expressed as a percentage of annual income, and the affordability gap, which is the difference between an affordable level of spending and actual dollars spent.

“We know that Connecticut is among the states with the highest energy costs in the nation. When you combine this expense with high transportation and housing costs, it can be crippling for a low-income household. While over 430,000 households in Connecticut meet the eligibility requirements for energy bill assistance, only 18.7% are served through available funding. We need more comprehensive and sustainable solutions to help low-income families in Connecticut afford their energy costs,” said Brenda Watson, Executive Director of Operation Fuel and member of the Board of Directors of the Green Bank.

Other key findings include:

  • Energy burden is highest among low-income households: 6-7 times higher.
  • High energy burdens are clustered in urban areas such as New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport.
  • The combination of efficiency and solar can help close the building energy affordability gap for most households in the state that own their dwelling, dramatically reducing annual energy costs.
  • Fewer options are available to renting households, although existing programs, like Energize CT’s Home Energy Solutions do substantially reduce building energy burden.
  • While Connecticut has multiple programs available to low-income customers to help them better afford their utility bills, these programs on their own lack sufficient funding to meet all the needs of customers.
  • Transportation costs are high not just in urban centers, but across the entire state
  • Reducing transportation costs is crucial to preserving affordability
  • Inadequate public and shared transport options result in a personal vehicle needed almost everywhere for an acceptable level of mobility

The report sits at the intersection of many current issues brought to the forefront in 2020, including increased energy usage as people are sheltering in place, greater focus on indoor air quality issues, and the way these factors disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income residents.

The report points out that existing resources are not enough to cover energy needs for the most vulnerable. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (“CEAP”) provides direct bill assistance to households earning <60% of state median income. The CEAP program budget is approximately $88 million, which is only sufficient to serve roughly 20% of the 430,825 eligible households in the state. Both of the state’s investor-owned utilities also offer matching payment and arrearage forgiveness programs. In 2019 these programs served nearly 19,000 customers but only 58% successfully completed the program.

A bright spot was VEIC’s finding that programs that combine energy efficiency and solar can close the building energy affordability gap for many low- and moderate-income households who are homeowners. Customers that participated in the Solar For All program from PosiGen and the Connecticut Green Bank in 2019 are estimated to have saved an average of $1,315 on their energy costs.

“There are a number of promising, transformative opportunities to reduce energy burdens in Connecticut,” said Justine Sears, Consultant at VEIC. “For instance, working to make the transportation system more equitable and accessible in urban, suburban, and rural areas would significantly reduce transportation burdens for people – especially low-income households.” To address the transportation issues identified in the report, VEIC recommends strategies to minimize the need for and use of private vehicles by increasing public transit, and promoting electric vehicles and e-bikes, which offer fuel savings over gasoline-powered vehicles.

To access the full report, please visit: https://www.ctgreenbank.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Mapping-Household-Energy-and-Transportation-Affordability-Report-Oct-2020.pdf

To join an informational webinar detailing the report on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 pm EST, register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6590608348170594317

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 Operation Fuel

Operation Fuel was founded in 1977 after a worldwide oil embargo caused an unprecedented escalation in the price of home heating. Although federal and state governments had developed energy assistance programs for families experiencing poverty, low-income working families who were not eligible for government help and in crisis were left out in the cold.

To address the crisis in Connecticut, a collaboration among religious communities, industry leaders in banking, insurance, and utilities, Father Thomas Lynch, and Governor Ella Grasso created Operation Fuel, intended to provide relief for residents who fell through the gaps of government assistance programs. Our mission, is to ensure equitable access to energy for all by providing year-round energy and utility assistance, promoting energy independence, and advocating for affordable energy

About VEIC

VEIC is a sustainable energy company on a mission to generate the energy solutions the world needs. For over 30 years VEIC has been working with governments, utilities, foundations and businesses across North America to develop and deploy clean energy services that provide immediate and lasting change. With expertise in energy efficiency, building and transportation electrification, and new approaches for a clean and flexible grid, VEIC brings innovative solutions to the market. VEIC is nationally recognized for developing pilots and programs that optimize energy use, reduce energy burdens for low-income customers, and advance new technologies. In addition to our full-service consulting business, VEIC administers three large-scale sustainable energy programs: Efficiency Vermont, Efficiency Smart, and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU). www.veic.org.   

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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.

Green Liberty Bond Named Bond Buyer Deal of the Year Finalist as the Winner in Innovative Financing Category

November 10, 2020 — The Bond Buyer announced yesterday that the Connecticut Green Bank is among the recipients of its annual Deal of the Year awards as the winner in the Innovative Financing category for their 2020 Green Liberty Bond issuance.

For the second straight year, The Bond Buyer has named winners in 10 categories: five awards in our regional areas of coverage, along with five in additional categories. All award winners are also finalists for the national Deal of the Year Award, which will be announced at a virtual event to be held Dec. 16. This is the 19th year that The Bond Buyer has recognized outstanding achievement in municipal finance.

“This year’s lineup reflects the full range of communities and public purposes this market comprises,” said Mike Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. “The deals honored exemplify the creativity and resourcefulness this industry brings to bear on projects that advance the infrastructure and quality of life in the nation’s municipalities. These qualities take on additional importance here in 2020, as issuers across the nation face unprecedented challenges.”

The Bond Buyer’s editorial board considered a range of factors when judging entries, including: creativity, the ability to pull a complex transaction together under challenging conditions, the ability to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a deal’s proceeds were used.

“We are very excited and honored to be recognized by The Bond Buyer in the Innovative Financing category for 2020,” said Lonnie Reed, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Issuing our first Green Liberty Bond during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges, however, the response from retail investors in Connecticut and across the country was incredibly positive. The desire to invest in Green Liberty Bonds is strong because it is both great for the environment and great for the green energy economy.”

The Connecticut Green Bank’s $16.8 million issuance of “Green Liberty Bonds” is this year’s Innovative Financing winner. Modeled after the Series-E War Bonds of the 1940s, this new sub-category of green bonds is sold in maximum denominations of $1,000, making them accessible to everyday citizens and retail investors.

To see all the finalists, please visit The Bond Buyer’s announcement.

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.

Free EV Charging Stations for Commercial Properties Financing Efficiency Projects through C-PACE

Charge Up CT Buildings campaign pairs growing EV demand with need for property efficiency

 Rocky Hill, Conn. (September 15, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the relaunch of its Charge Up CT Buildings program, an initiative originally launched in January that offers free electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to commercial property owners who use Connecticut Green Bank C-PACE financing . The initiative was put on hold in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative financing tool that provides building owners with access to 100% financing for energy improvements, realize positive cash flow immediately, and create more comfortable, efficient buildings. C-PACE can also support building owners in reducing operating expenses and increasing cash flow, providing a vital lifeline to help businesses get through tough economic times. Plus, the Green Bank is currently offering flexible payment options for new borrowers that let them choose to defer or pay interest-only on initial payments, offering borrowers ways to improve their building and save energy while freeing up cash and receiving immediate financial relief.

“The Green Bank is enabling building owners to take control of their energy costs and save money by using C-PACE, which could provide many borrowers the breathing room they need while the economy recovers and things get back to ‘normal,’” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President, Financing Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “But with C-PACE and Charge Up CT Buildings, we’re also helping borrowers to position their properties and businesses – and our community – for future success, and a better, new ‘normal.’ Borrowers will not only make their buildings more modern and attractive, but their customers, tenants, and employees will be able to charge up and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles.”

The addition of free EV charging equipment means property owners leveraging C-PACE won’t just be using the clean energy financing mechanism as a tool to improve their financial position in the near term, but also to modernize their buildings and position them more competitively in the future. Whether building tenants are commercial or residential, as the EV market continues to grow, properties with charging stations can lead the way.

To qualify for a free EV charging station, energy saving projects must utilize at least $150,000 in Green Bank C-PACE financing with at least 20% of the total project costs going toward non-renewable measures. Larger projects may be eligible to receive up to three electric vehicle charging stations. Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE team will work with building owners to determine if their project is eligible for the C-PACE program and Charge Up CT Buildings incentive. 

Property owners will now have until December 18, 2020 to apply for C-PACE financing in order to be eligible for this limited time promotion. Property owners are encouraged to contact the Green Bank early to start the application process.

For more information about the initiative, please visit chargeupct.com or call 866-324-0099.

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/

Green Liberty Bond’s $16 Million Inaugural Issuance Sells Out

Connecticut Green Bank’s lower-dollar denomination bond received strong support from individual buyers in Connecticut and across the country as well as from institutional buyers

Rocky Hill, CT (July 27, 2020) – Earlier this month, the Connecticut Green Bank successfully sold-out of its inaugural Green Liberty Bond offering of $16,795,000 to retail and institutional investors in Connecticut and across the country. Demand was so strong that the supply of bonds could not meet the interest of those seeking to invest in Connecticut’s green economy.

Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia executes and signs the inaugural Green Liberty Bonds as Brian Farnen, Chief Legal Counsel, looks on.

Retail investors were given priority during a one-day retail order period on Tuesday, July 14. Total retail orders received during this order period surpassed $9.9 million. With first priority given to Connecticut citizen investors, their orders for nearly $5 million of bonds were filled before the national orders. Due to heavy volume of interest seeking the first two maturities, the Green Bank was only able to fill $1 million of the national retail order.

“When we conceived of the idea of the Green Liberty Bond, we wanted to develop a type of green investment that would enable everyday citizens to invest in confronting climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “Green bonds now have a new sub-category – a bond sold directly to the people the proceeds of which are independently certified as financing projects with climate and environmental benefits. We invite other issuers to use the Green Liberty Bond structure and help fulfill the demand of our American investors.”

Individuals accounted for 74% of the retail orders with the balance from professionally managed retail accounts such as private wealth managers and bank trusts.

“The level of interest from individual retail buyers was spectacular, something we have not seen in recent memory,” said Alfredo Quintero, Senior Managing Director at Ramirez & Co., the lead underwriter on the issuance. “Clearly, there is an untapped segment of investors that is concerned about environmental and social challenges that we face today.  Through this offering, the Green Bank has addressed the desire for action on the part of these individuals.”

Institutional investors were able to place orders on July 15, and there was strong interest from a variety of traditional municipal investors and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investors. Almost the entire 2027 maturity was purchased by an institutional ESG investor as a result of direct outreach by the Green Bank.

“We frequently receive requests from foundations and endowments seeking ways to invest in our Green Bank projects. Green Liberty Bonds are an ideal investment to meet this need,” observed Bert Hunter, the Green Bank’s Chief Investment Officer.  

The Green Liberty Bonds were created in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – a type of green bond whose proceeds are used to invest in projects that confront climate change in Connecticut. Modelled after the Series-E War Bonds of the 1940s, the bonds must be able to be purchased by everyday citizens through lower-dollar denominations (no more than $1,000), enabling them to invest in green projects in their community and to save for the planet.

Beyond the direct sales of the Green Liberty Bonds, Green Bank leadership received a number of inquiries from other states and non-profit organizations seeking information about replicating this product to support of other green causes like forest protection.

To launch the Green Liberty Bonds, the Green Bank worked with Ramirez & Co., Inc. as lead underwriter, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. as co-underwriter, Shipman & Goodwin LLP as bond counsel, Lamont Financial Services Corporation as financial advisor, and Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A. as trustee. The Green Liberty Bonds received an A rating from Standard and Poor’s. They were labeled as “Certified Climate Bonds” by the Climate Bonds Initiative, and compliance of the bond’s issuance with the Climate Bonds Standards was verified by Kestrel Verifiers.

Additionally, the Green Bank received important assistance from the staffs of the Office of the State Treasurer and of the Office of Policy and Management.

Encouraged by the success of this first issuance, the Green Bank is already planning its next Green Liberty Bond issuance, as well as looking into other ways to allow for more inclusive citizen investment in green projects. To receive notifications about future issuances, please visit www.greenlibertybonds.com.

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

Disclaimer

This press release does not constitute a recommendation or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument, including the initial Green Liberty Bonds, or to adopt any investment strategy. Any offer or solicitation with respect to the initial Green Liberty Bonds will be made solely by means of the Preliminary Official Statement and Official Statement, which will describe the actual terms and conditions of the Green Liberty Bonds. The information provided is subject in all respects to the information presented in the complete Preliminary Official Statement prepared in connection with the initial Green Liberty Bonds. Any investment decisions regarding any of the Green Liberty Bonds should only be made after a careful review of the complete Preliminary Official Statement.