Summer 2017 CT Internships Recap

Mike Maccarone (Trinity College), Lucas Johnson (Yale School of Management) and Nicole Suozzo (Boston College) star in their internship recap video. Hear what our Connecticut-based interns learned about the sustainable energy industry, Greenworks Lending’s leadership, and what it is like to work at a start up.

The Greenworks Lending team wishes each of our interns, including Maureen Zech (University of St. Andrews) in our Bethesda MD office well and invites professionals and would-be-professionals to explore our careers page.

How to Save $1 Million: A Video Flyover

Kids First Sports Center, a 108,000 square foot multi-use facility including gymnastics, soccer, and basketball has just put its massive roof to work to generate a great deal of its total electrical needs. Such projects are not a new concept within the sports industry, but the method of finance deployed by owner Jefferey Metzger is new and becoming available in a growing number of states. The 250kW solar array and additional energy savings measures installed by Cincinnati-based National Energy Control have been financed by Greenworks Lending through a public private partnership offered called C-PACE, which stands for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy.

Get started on your energy saving project today. Click here to learn more.

Baltimore Welcomes C-PACE

Inman Solar, Greenworks Lending, the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland and Baltimore City Councilperson (District 11) Eric Costello introduced C-PACE (commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) to Baltimore business owners and developers this month. For information on how C-PACE financing provides capital for commercial building upgrades, retrofits, and new construction that improves energy performance, please inquire here.

Eversource Announces Small ZREC as Undersubscribed

Eversource Announces Small ZREC as Undersubscribed

While the Year 5 Small ZREC Tariff Program opened on February 15, 2017 and closed on March 1, 2017, Eversource announced on June 14, 2017 that the program for solar projects of a scale less than or equal to 100 kW was undersubscribed.

At the close of the Year 5 Small ZREC two-week window on March 1, 2017, Eversource received 265 completed Year 5 Small ZREC Applications, leaving the Eversource Year 5 Small ZREC budget of $4M undersubscribed by approximately 40%.  Because the utility was undersubscribed, Eversource did not need to conduct a random selection.

Eversource was able to select the following number of applications in each round of selection thus far:

  • Round 1: 255 applications
  • Round 2: 45 applications
  • Round 3: 51 applications

As of June 14th, 218 projects had Fully Executed Service Agreements, and had provided an acceptable form of Performance Assurance. These totals do not include Round 3 fully executed Agreements as they were due back  by 5pm on 6/23/17.

Given this undersubscription for Small ZRECs, Eversource will continue to move down the queue until the available budget is committed.  Additionally, the utility reached out to contractors and property owners to encourage the submission of additional applications. Eversource will be reviewing Applications on what is estimated to be a monthly basis for eligibility, and sending Agreements after the eligibility process is complete each month.

BeyondParis

BeyondParis

Click to view “Beyond Paris” on YouTube.

Greenworks Lending’s CEO and Co-Founder Jessica Bailey encourages “Climate Mayors”  to consider C-PACE as a tool for their environmental and economic development agendas as we move “beyond Paris.”  C-PACE financing programs provide business owners with the ability to positively affect their bottom line while taking action action on behalf of our environment through the installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.

Talk to Greenworks lending about bringing the C-PACE program your state or  your municipality – or get started on a project today by completing the below information.

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Bill to Support Solar Industry on the Clock in CT

Bill to Support Solar Industry on the Clock in CT

June 7, 2017 Update: HB 7036 passed in a vote recorded at 2:39AM by a margin of 32 Yea, 0 Nay, and 4 absent/non-voting. For more detail on the bill and or voting, please visit the CT General Assembly website here.

A bill that supports the solar industry via an extension of the ZREC (Zero Emission Renewable Energy Certificate) Program is moving through the CT Legislature right now. HB 7036 has passed the House and is waiting on floor action in the Senate. It must pass by tomorrow at midnight when Session ends.

The clock is ticking on extending the ZREC program, which benefits buildings such as the LEED certified 777 Main St. in Hartford – home to a 115kW solar array.

The extension of the ZREC program has a material impact on businesses throughout CT, particularly solar energy contractors and their clients who are able to sell (via renewable energy credits) excess production from their solar panels to Eversource and UI for qualifying projects at a 15 year contract rate. The credits improve the economics of the business decision to “go solar” and when combined with C-PACE financing help yield positive cash flows.

If you feel comfortable in doing so, it would be helpful if you contacted your Senator and urge passage of HB 7036 in the Senate. Calls and emails have a significant impact at the state level and this would be a big help. Please pass this message on to other friends and contacts elsewhere in the State.

You can find out who your Senator is here. Please call their office right now and tell them that you work in and/or support the energy industry and that your Senator must vote yes on this legislation.

Thanks and remember the clock is ticking on action.

C-PACE Facilitates Direct Solar Ownership

C-PACE Facilitates Direct Solar Ownership

For many years, Third-Party Ownership (TPO) structures dominated the distributed generation solar market for both residential and commercial and industrial systems. With this approach, a solar developer would work with a tax equity partner (e.g., banks) to monetize the federal investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation. The solar firm would then pass some of these benefits onto the consumer through a lower power purchase agreement or lease rate.

Over the past two years and especially in the past twelve months, this TPO model has been declining in use relative to direct ownership.

As both panel and balance-of-system costs continue to plummet, direct ownership has become increasingly beneficial for consumers. The financial reason is clear. Consumers who have the capacity to use the tax credits themselves receive 100% of the value. Under a TPO model, a large share of the value is consumed by the tax equity partner.

Even though costs have declined dramatically enabling far more use of direct ownership, direct cash payment can still be challenging and is not always the best use of financial resources. Commercial PACE is a perfect tool to provide direct ownership benefits while enabling a property owner to spread payments over the useful life of the system. Moreover, a property owner does not need to come out of pocket for the project or guarantee the financing from the corporate or personal level. C-PACE does not affect property equity and can be used for non-investment grade buildings. Finally, the cost of capital is low and the interest is tax deductible.

In general, C-PACE is emerging as a practical tool for direct ownership of solar systems across the United States.

June 2017 Impact Dashboard

June 2017 Impact Dashboard

Click to view the “dashboard.”

Greenworks Lending is proud to highlight the results of pursuing our mission: to make clean energy a smart business decision.   Impact measures are based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s  greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.  Number of jobs created is based on project expenditures, as suggested by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) for estimating job growth in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Day Caring for the Environment

Ross Solar Group and Celco Heating and Air Conditioning teamed up with Greenworks Lending at Bright Horizons Child Care and Early Education Center in Stamford CT to replace end of life HVAC with Mitsubishi air sourced heat pump technologies and instal an ERV (energy recovery ventilator). The updates and building’s general electric needs are now powered by a 100kWh solar array while teachers and students enjoy room-by-room comfort. Property owner Don Gary, Ross Solar’s Walter Erickson, and Celco’s David Elovecky comment during the green ribbon cutting ceremony in May of 2017.

SHREK vs. ZREC

CT businesses could miss out on something wonderful, much in the same way Disney’s now-classic romantic comedy star “Shrek” might have if he had not seen changes in the moonlight.  With the State’s next Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) request for proposal period opening on April 27, 2017 and the status of future contract periods unknown, energy astute business owners looking to lower operating costs through solar need to explore the ZREC program before the window closes, leaving money on the table.shrek-zrec-illustration

Here is what businesses owners need to know:

  • The ZREC program provides renewable energy credits (translates roughly as “businesses get paid”) for producing between 100kW and 1MW of power – otherwise known as the approximate amount of power your average commercial property roof can produce.
  • The State’s two investor-owned electric utilities, UI and Eversource are compelled by legislation to support approximately $8M in such investments annually.
  • Businesses installing solar can apply to “sell” ZRECs into these 15 year long contracts while continuing to use the power they generate.
  • This means businesses are effectively receiving a grant to use the solar power they install on their roof, which is just a portion of the economic incentive to go green.
  • Piggy-backed with a public/private partnership program called C-PACE or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, business owners can see positive cash flow from their renewable energy projects on day one.
  • C-PACE financing provides long term payback of clean energy investments through a special tax assessment on the commercial property. Terms are typically 20 years for solar and the financed amount can include hard and soft costs related to the installation, including a new sub-roof in some cases.

“Whoa,” said the ogre to the donkey. “How’s that work?”

Consider the example of a manufacturing company only using non-renewable sources.  A solar installation would certainly lower their utility bill, but how do ZREC and C-PACE combine to yield day one cash flow advantages and tremendous lifetime projected savings for a business?

The calculation and process goes something like this:

  • Identify an energy services contractor to put together a C-PACE financed, ZREC proposal.
  • Work with contractor to create a proposal that includes solar panels and generates power between 100kWh to 1MW. For illustration purposes…
    • A 400 kW solar system might yield 500,000kWh annually
    • Bidding that production into the large ZREC program potentially yields an annual income of $27,500 or $398,371 over the 15 year contracted period
    • Based on a sample-awarded $55 ZREC
  • Totaling the saved utility costs, applicable tax credits, favorable (long-term financing) provided by C-PACE, and ZREC payments will result in a day one positive cash flow for the business.

For more information on ZREC or C-PACE or to be connected with a contractor who can discuss a proposal prior to the ZREC deadline, please visit www.greenworkslending.com/getstarted.