National Leader, Connecticut Green Bank Reaches Milestone in Project Financing

The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program recently surpassed $100 million in closed project financing. Out of the 19 states with C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, this project financing level is second only to California, according to officials. The Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program reached the milestone of $100 million in total closed project financing. The solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy efficiency projects, which vary in size and scope, are saving more than $9.29 million annually in energy costs for nearly 170 building owners across multiple sectors. 

The Green Bank, which administers the C-PACE program, seeks to make green energy more accessible and affordable to commercial and industrial property owners by providing no money down long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings.

C-PACE enables building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses can achieve lower energy costs. Reaching $100 million in closed project financing reaffirms Connecticut’s program as a national leader, officials indicated.

Since its inception in 2011, 166 C-PACE projects have been closed in 69 of the 128 municipalities that have opted into the program. C-PACE funds have been used in manufacturing facilities, non-profits, houses of worship, retail establishments, office buildings, and other business entities.  The projects consist of solar installations, new boilers, energy efficiency lighting measures, HVAC systems, and other energy improvements that help building owners to take control of their energy costs.

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

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

Connecticut’s C-PACE program maintains an open market approach, allowing private capital providers to finance projects for building owners, and, in 2015, the Green Bank reached an agreement that provided it access to up to $100 million in private funding for C-PACE projects. Today, nearly 70% of the funding in the program consists of private capital.

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

The website Energy Collective noted recently that “states have and will continue to play a key role in leading the clean energy transition,” highlighting the work in Connecticut as among the national models.

“Connecticut has found a way to make the financing of clean energy deployment more accessible and affordable for consumers and businesses. In 2011 the state legislature created the Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first green bank. It uses public funds to attract private capital investment in green energy projects. By leveraging private investment, the Green Bank significantly increases the total amount of financing available for clean energy projects.

The site highlighted that “Among the Green Bank’s most successful initiatives is the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which allows commercial property owners to pay for clean energy or efficiency upgrades over time through their property taxes.

The Connecticut Green Bank is the nation’s first green bank. Established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80, the Connecticut Green Bank evolved from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), which was given a broader mandate in 2011 to become the Connecticut Green Bank.