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Green Bank awards
Image retrieved from YouTube/ "Bryan Garcia talks about the Connecticut Green Bank"

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Connecticut Green Bank Awards 2021 Celebrate Resilience & Innovation

The clean energy industry requires significant collaboration among government, industry, and key stakeholders. In 2021, the Connecticut clean energy economy was a leader nationwide and continues to be a significant source of jobs.

What’s your vision of the future? Is it to promote a planet protected by the love of humanity and with a mission to confront climate change? Is it to provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous tomorrow? Then you might like the Connecticut Green Bank, as that’s its goal, too. To transform such a vision into reality, the nation’s first green bank works to increase and accelerate the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. Part of the path to get there is to recognize key partners in the state’s dedicated network of contractors, developers, lending partners, community leaders, and home- and building-owners. The Connecticut Green Bank Presents 2021 Awards have just been released, and they build on the successes of others who came before them and who created more than 25,600 job years and over 60,000 clean energy projects since 2012.

A green bank is an entity that accelerates the deployment of clean energy using limited public dollars to attract private capital investment in clean energy projects. In doing so, it makes clean energy more affordable and accessible to consumers.

“Each year, selecting contractors and projects to award is a challenge because there are so many people and organizations forging the way to a thriving clean energy future in our state,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “While all industries have faced challenges due to the global pandemic, Connecticut’s clean energy economy has proven more resilient than that of other states in the region and the nation overall. This is thanks to the continued collaboration between state leaders and agencies, our utility partners, and the contractors, lenders, and residents and building owners who understand the benefits of combating climate change and reducing energy burdens.”

Connecticut’s clean energy industry has remained resilient and is positioned for future growth, despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the 2021 Connecticut Clean Energy Industry Report. Total clean energy employment in Connecticut declined by only six% in 2020 to 41,488 jobs, compared to a nationwide energy employment decrease of 9% and neighboring state declines ranging from 7% to 16%.

Here are the award recipients for 2021.

Green Bank Awards for Building Solutions

2021 – C-PACE Outstanding Project: This redevelopment project is located at One Park Road, West Hartford. As a fine example of the ability of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to support the redevelopment of historic properties, this $70 million project received $13.7 million in C-PACE financing from CastleGreen Finance, LLC (a C-PACE capital provider and an affiliate of X-Caliber Capital). That funding supported the conversion of a 135-year-old convent to a 292-unit multi-family housing complex, allowing the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry to remain in their home. The project, developed by Lex-Laz West Hartford, LLC, an affiliate of Lexington Partners LLC, was also made possible by Martin Kenny and Alan Lazowski, the Town of West Hartford, and Liberty Bank. The project is the largest C-PACE project closed in the State of Connecticut to date.

2021 – Solar PPA Outstanding Project: This solar installation at Ridgefield High School was recipient of Green Bank honors to Con Edison Solutions and the Ridgefield Board of Education for their 319.95 kW solar installation. The solar system was installed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which is producing electricity and is estimated to help Ridgefield achieve more than $450,000 in savings over the 20-year term. This is the 4th project the Town of Ridgefield has developed in partnership with the Green Bank.

Green Bank Awards for Home Solutions

2021 – Residential Solar Investment Program – Top Newcomer – Green Power Energy: In only their second year in the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP), Green Power Energy installed more than 1 megawatt (MW) of solar PV systems in 2021 through the program. Since entering the state’s residential market in 2020, they have quickly grown into one of the highest volume residential solar PV contractors in Connecticut. Green Power Energy recently opened a Connecticut location in Durham with a staff of 15. Since 2020, Green Power Energy has installed a total of 212 projects for 2.5 MW of capacity.

2021 – Residential Solar Investment Program – Top Local Performer – Earthlight: Connecticut-based installer Earthlight had more than a MW of solar PV approved in 2021 through the RSIP. With 2.4 MW, Ellington-based Earthlight has demonstrated that local installers are continuing to grow their business with residential solar. Earthlight has participated in the RSIP since 2013 and has grown into one of Connecticut’s largest local installers of residential solar PV. Since 2013, Earthlight has installed a total of 1,380 projects for 13.6 MW of capacity.

2021 – Smart-E Loan – Top Performers: For 2021, the Green Bank is recognizing 24 Smart-E Loan Top Performers. In 2021, the Top Performers helped over 450 families across Connecticut make home energy improvements – allowing them to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and live more comfortably in their homes. The Smart-E Loan offers homeowners no money down, low-interest financing for more than 40 qualifying projects that reduce energy use and lower utility costs. Since 2013, the Smart-E loan has enabled more than 6,000 families to make improvements with a projected lifetime energy cost savings over $70 million.

Top Performers’ Projects

In partnership with 9 participating local lenders, the Top Performers’ projects surpassed $91 million in closed Smart-E Loans. Financed projects included insulation and window upgrades, high efficiency heating and cooling solutions, rooftop solar PV and battery storage systems, health and safety improvements, and more.

The 2021 Top Performers (in alphabetical order; * denotes 2020 Top Performer recognition):

  • 20/20 Air Mechanical (New Milford)
  • Absolute Air Services LLC (Portland)*
  • Advanced Heating and Air Conditioning (South Windsor)
  • Aiello Home Services LLC (Windsor Locks)
  • Benvenuti Oil (Waterford)*
  • Busy Bee Services (Burlington)
  • Campbell Cooling LLC (Newington)
  • Celco Heating and Air Conditioning (Bridgeport)
  • Deitch Energy LLC (Hartford)
  • Ductworks HVAC Services (Southington)
  • Energy Unlimited, LLC (Bolton)*
  • Glasco Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. (South Windsor)*
  • Highland Window Co. (West Hartford)*
  • Home Comfort Heating and Cooling Solutions, LLC (East Haven)*
  • Homestead Fuel, Inc. (Ellington)*
  • Link Mechanical Services Inc. (New Britain)*
  • Nutmeg Mechanical Services, Inc. (Manchester)*
  • Omni Mechanical Services (South Windsor)
  • R&W Heating Energy Solutions LLC (Salem)*
  • Ralph Mann & Sons Inc. (Ansonia)*
  • Ryan F. Murphy Heating & Cooling LLC (New Milford)*
  • Service Stars (Danbury)
  • SolvIt, Inc. (Plainville)*
  • Viglione Heating & Cooling Inc. (East Haven)*

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 and has since supported the creation of more than 23,000 green energy jobs in the state, while reducing the energy cost burden on over 55,000 families, businesses, and nonprofits. 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.

Green Bank awards

Image provided by Connecticut Green Bank

 
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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.

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