CEFIA Establishes Solar Leasing Public-Private Partnership
Providing Open Access to Private Capital for Clean Energy
Rocky Hill, CT, July 1, 2013 – The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) announces the creation of an innovative public-private solar power leasing option for households and businesses in Connecticut as part of the State’s Energize Connecticut Initiative. Building upon the initial Connecticut Solar Lease product, CEFIA and its strategic partners have come together to offer the CT Solar Lease II to the market—new and improved—providing additional opportunities to deploy solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems throughout the state.
“Expanding renewable energy options in Connecticut is a critical part of making energy cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “This newest financing tool will help move us away from polluting fossil fuels at the same time we are creating more green jobs and making the state more competitive. I applaud CEFIA and their partners for their innovation and commitment to consumers and the environment.”
CT Solar Lease II is made possible by CEFIA’s collaboration with a variety of private market participants, including a syndicate of debt providers and a renewable energy tax equity partner, as well as insurance and servicing companies that together make CT Solar Lease II a reality. The financial partners include U.S. Bank, First Niagara, Webster, Liberty and Peoples United banks. CT Solar Lease II leverages $9.5 million of ratepayer funds to attract $50 million of private capital—a ratio of nearly 1:5.
“By harnessing the power of public-private partnerships and building upon the success of the state’s first solar lease initiative, we’re collectively creating opportunities for sustainability,” said Matt Philpott, senior vice president of U.S. Bank.
With the expanded private capital investments, CT Solar Lease II will be able to support twice as many solar leases as in the first program offering. Furthermore, CT Solar Lease II provides best in the nation customer access, reaching credit scores as low as 640, and permits homeowners flexibility of payment, allowing for more Connecticut residents to go solar.
“We have developed a product that maximizes the deployment of residential solar PV systems per dollar of ratepayer capital at risk,” stated Bryan Garcia, president of CEFIA. “Not only does this product allow customers to be cash-flow positive from day one, but it also returns ratepayer capital for reinvestment in Connecticut’s clean energy economy!”
The program is expected to support approximately 1500 residential solar PV systems, 400 residential solar thermal (hot water) systems, and 40 commercial solar systems over a two-year period. Collectively, the program should result in the deployment of nearly 14MW of solar PV and 4,600MMBtu of solar hot water systems.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with CEFIA and the program’s other participants to make it easier and more affordable for Connecticut consumers to finance solar energy applications for their homes,” said First Niagara New England regional president David Ring. “CT Solar Lease II will provide homeowners and some businesses with significantly enhanced opportunities to finance their switch to solar power, save money and decrease their energy consumption.”
CT Solar Lease II will provide a more competitive landscape for solar in Connecticut that will ultimately drive down costs while making solar more accessible and affordable to consumers. The new program will enable homeowners and businesses to choose from a variety of eligible installers throughout Connecticut—not just the select companies that have access to sources of capital and tax equity. CT Solar Lease II offers benefits for all participants. Ratepayer subsidies will be reduced; customers, including those with limited incomes, will have greater access to the solar PV market; and local installers will have access to financing to support their work and business growth.
Among the critical partners are AFC First and Assurant, Inc.’s solar group. AFC First is providing servicing and management for the program and has once again been selected to support this expanded effort after successfully servicing the original lease option. Assurant will provide CEFIA bundled property, casualty and liability insurance under the CT Solar Lease II.
“Assurant is proud to be working with CEFIA and providing our insurance expertise on this important residential solar leasing program,” said Jeanne Schwartz, vice president of New Venture Commercialization of Assurant, Inc. “Assurant is committed to providing CEFIA and its solar project customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing their financial investments are protected.”
About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority
CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA’s mission is to promote, develop and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in order to strengthen Connecticut’s economy, protect community health, improve the environment, and promote a secure energy supply for the state. As the nation’s first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA will leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about CEFIA, please visit www.ctcleanenergy.com.
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the Energy Efficiency Fund, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy programs can be found at www.EnergizeCT.com