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 Sells Four Solar Projects to Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Announces Debt Facility

Two schools, an Islamic community center and a Boys and Girls Club will benefit from the reduced energy costs provided by the solar systems

Rocky Hill, CT (Dec. 3, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank announces the acquisition of four solar power purchase agreement (PPA) projects by Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC) as well as the closing of a debt facility designed to help IPC continue its management and growth of the Green Bank’s PPA portfolio in Connecticut.

“IPC will be one of our key partners in continuing to serve the Connecticut solar market and expand upon the success the Connecticut Green Bank has had in creatively de-risking projects to provide access to previously underserved solar customers,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer at Connecticut Green Bank. “This transaction continues to exemplify the Green Bank model of leveraging limited public dollars to mobilize private investment.”

Created in 2018 as a spin out of the Connecticut Green Bank, IPC is a mission-driven specialty finance organization working at the intersection of community development, clean energy finance, and climate impact. In Connecticut, they partner with  the Green Bank on a number of programs including the solar PPA, which focuses on delivering energy savings to a variety of customers, like commercial properties, houses of worship, affordable multifamily, and non-profits.

The solar projects sold to IPC include installations on two schools, an Islamic community center and a Boys and Girls Club. The projects total 495 kW and are anticipated to save the customers approximately $20,000 in their first year of operation.  These solar customers are:

  • Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Shelton, 127 kW Rooftop Project
  • Bridgeport Islamic Community Center, Bridgeport, 75 kW Rooftop Project
  • The Country School, Madison, 107 kW Rooftop Project
  • Washington Montessori School, New Preston, 186 kW Rooftop Project

“The Country School’s solar project has had a catalytic effect. Not only have our students, as future leaders, seen the benefits of renewable energy but so too have their families, as they install solar at their homes and businesses, recognizing the short-term and long-term benefits for the country and the world. While our utility costs have already decreased, the greatest benefit is how excited our students have been, knowing that they have had a hand in this project. Connecticut Green Bank has been a great partner throughout the experience. We only wish we had more roofs for them,” said Head of School John Fixx.

“Our goal for adding solar to our Shelton facility was two-fold. First to be good stewards for our environment and second to reduce our operating expenses. By working with Encon and the Connecticut Green Bank, our club was able to reduce our carbon footprint, set a good example for our Club kids and reduce our monthly electric bill with no money out of pocket for the installation” says Shaye Roscoe, Chief Executive Officer of The Boys & Girls Club of The Lower Naugatuck Valley.

Learn more about the solar PPA at https://www.ctgreenbank.com/programs/building-owners/green-bank-solar-ppa/.

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 Inclusive Prosperity Capital:

Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Inc. (“IPC”) is a not-for-profit investment fund scaling clean energy financing solutions that channels investment capital to program partners in communities that need it most. As a spin-out and strategic partner of the Connecticut Green Bank, IPC is focused on scaling its work in Connecticut and expanding its successful model nationwide by accessing mission-driven capital and partnerships. IPC operates at the intersection of community development, clean energy finance, and climate impact. We believe everyone should have access to the benefits of clean energy, helping to deliver Inclusive Prosperity.

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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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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.

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.

Solar For All Benefits the Poor

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connecticut Green Bank sells solar projects to Skyview Ventures

Completed projects will provide energy savings to municipal properties, a nonprofit organization and an affordable multifamily housing provider

Rocky Hill, CT (August 18, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the acquisition by Skyview Ventures, a Connecticut based renewable energy investor, of six solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. The projects, developed by the Green Bank, total 1.2 megawatts of solar capacity, and will produce energy that will benefit municipal properties, a nonprofit organization and an affordable multifamily housing provider. All six projects are backed by Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and one is also secured by the Green Bank’s award-winning Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE).

“Connecticut Green Bank has a track record in developing solar PPA projects across the state that reduce the energy burden for customers, thereby freeing up budget for the services that they provide,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President. “When compared with expected utility-sourced energy, these six solar projects are anticipated to provide the customers an estimated $1.3 million in energy cost savings over the next 20 years.”

While the Green Bank Solar PPA provides businesses, nonprofits and public properties the opportunity to go solar with no money down and deliver immediate savings on their electricity costs, over the last two years, the Green Bank has redefined its role in the commercial solar PPA market. The focus is now on the development and construction of solar projects, often with underserved credits or in markets that might get overlooked for on-site solar PPA projects. These projects are then sold to owners, like Skyview, allowing the Green Bank to remain closely involved in these projects as a long-term debt provider.

“In Skyview, we have found a like-minded local partner and look forward to bringing more on-site solar power to customers in the future,” said Hunter.

“Skyview has developed and owns and operates over 50 solar PV projects in the state of Connecticut. The Green Bank’s leadership over the years has allowed the renewable energy industry in Connecticut to mature without the fits and starts of most other markets. We are a Connecticut-based company that enables community institutions to allocate their capital and resources to their core missions while benefiting from locally produced clean electricity. Working with the Green Bank has allowed us to accelerate our impact across the state and make solar power accessible to a broader range of stakeholders.” said Matt Coleman, Partner at Skyview Ventures.

The projects in this transaction were:

  • A 321 kW rooftop system at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, installed by AEC Solar.
  • A 302 kW ground mount system at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton, installed by Encon Inc. of Stratford.
  • A 119 kW rooftop system at Prescott Bush Apartments, an Elm City Communities property in New Haven, installed by PurePoint Energy LLC of Norwalk.
  • Three rooftop systems on Town of Darien buildings, totaling 215 kW, installed by Encon Inc. of Stratford.
  • A 131 kW rooftop system at Barlow Mountain Elementary School in Ridgefield, installed by Davis Hill Development.
  • A 130 kW rooftop system at Scotts Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, installed by Davis Hill Development.

About Skyview Ventures

Skyview was founded in December 2008 to pursue investment opportunities in renewable energy. Our investments fall along four themes: environmental commodities; solar project finance, development and ownership; electric vehicle infrastructure; and early-stage startups. Skyview Ventures develops renewable energy under its subsidiary Davis Hill Development (DHD). DHD has developed a broad range of renewable energy projects throughout the Eastern US and the Caribbean.  In Connecticut, DHD has developed over 50 solar projects serving over a dozen municipalities and school districts, as well as churches, non-profits, and commercial real estate customers. For more information please visit www.skyviewventures.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.

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.

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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Connecticut Green Bank wins two awards from Environmental Finance for green bond issuance

March 30, 2020 — When Environmental Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards winners were announced earlier this week, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized with two honors:  the Award for Innovation – Green Bond Structure and the Award for Asset-Backed or Asset-Based Bond. These awards highlight the innovation and success of the Green Bank’s April 2019 $38.6 million in green asset backed securities, which was its first rated debt issuance, and the first ever solar asset-backed security (ABS) transaction by a green bank. The awards were judged by an independent panel comprising of 30 of the world’s largest green, social and sustainability bond investors.

To read more about this award winning issuance, please visit Environmental Finance’s article.