The Connecticut Green Bank has more than doubled its allocation of funding to support commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for businesses, towns, schools, non-profits, and state agencies. Originally approved in 2020 at $49.5 million, the allocation has been increased to $110 million due to what Green Bank described as an “ongoing, demonstrated need” for flexible capital for customers seeking to use solar energy and take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
With this increase, $50 million is dedicated to solar at businesses, towns, and schools. To date, Connecticut Green Bank says it has been tapped for more than $30 million in capital dedicated to 100+ solar projects- totaling 25 MW of capacity across the state under solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).
“The increased need for funding reflects the success of the state’s Non-Residential Energy Solutions (NRES) program and the increase in federal incentives that are enabling more investment in and deployment of clean energy in our communities,” said Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at the Green Bank. “Businesses, schools, and towns are looking for relief from higher energy costs and protecting themselves against grid outages. At the same time, these projects help achieve the Governor’s goal to achieve a zero-carbon electric grid by 2040.”
GO DEEPER: Jose Zayas, EVP of Policy and Programs, American Council on Renewable Energy joined the Factor This! podcast to break down the key components of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion dedicated to clean energy and climate change.
Also approved was an increase in funding for state projects under the Green Bank’s Solar Marketplace Assistance Program (MAP), which the Green Bank says has helped state properties and municipalities navigate the process of going solar. Through Solar MAP, the Green Bank assists in site feasibility analysis, incentive procurement, and facilitating a procurement process for development and construction.
To date, the Green Bank says Solar MAP has successfully helped install 4.5 MW of solar, including projects at schools in Portland, Manchester, and Branford. The Green Bank’s Board of Directors expanded funding authority from $20 to $60 million to enable 26 projects totaling over 17 MW of capacity across several state agencies, with a majority of these projects destined for the Department of Corrections, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and CT Technical Education and Career System (CTECS). The CTECS solar projects will also include student job shadowing.
The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first state-level green bank. The 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.