Connecticut has not been a national leader in solar. The state was only the 21st largest solar market in 2016, and is well behind neighboring Massachusetts. However, in recent years Connecticut has made a number of novel policy moves, including the creation of a state green bank in 2011.
Yesterday the Connecticut Green Bank announced that its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program has closed on more than 200 projects representing more than $114 million in solar and energy efficiency upgrades for the state’s businesses.
This puts the state second only to California in total C-PACE deal volume, and includes nearly 25 MW of solar projects. In 2017 alone 50 projects were closed through the bank, including 6.7 MW of solar. The bank additionally notes that these projects have created more than 1,300 job-years of employment.
The Connecticut Green Bank describes itself as the nation’s first full-scale green bank, and utilizes public funds to attract private investments. 70% of the capital deployed by the bank comes from private investors, including a single $100 million facility. The bank additionally handles projects originated and financed by other lenders.
The bank is also providing funding to other organizations beyond businesses. “While the majority of C-PACE projects are in industrial, retail or office buildings, we are seeing building owners and tenants in other sectors, such as houses of worship, non-profits, and educational facilities, taking advantage of C-PACE financing,” stated Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Programs at the Green Bank.
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