July 20, 2017
CT Green Guide

Green Bank gets prestigious gov’t award

Harvard/YouTube
Harvard/YouTube
Green Bank CEO Bryan Garcia presents to award judges in May with Kerry O’Neill, VP of residential programs.

The Connecticut Green Bank beat out approximately 500 competitors for a government innovation award from Harvard University, which comes with a $100,000 prize.

The Innovations in American Government Award is presented by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, part of Harvard's Kennedy School. The award began in 1985 and is now given biennially.

Harvard said it chose the Green Bank to recognize its first-of-a-kind status in the United States and its leadership in green financing innovation. The bank, formerly called the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, says it has helped drive $1 billion worth of clean energy investment in Connecticut.

Harvard judges rate programs for their novelty, effectiveness, significance and transferability.

"The Connecticut Green Bank is an exemplar of how states can meet their climate change reduction targets by working to leverage private-sector dollars to help finance green energy infrastructure," Stephen Goldsmith, a professor and director of the awards program, said in a statement. "The success of Connecticut's Green Bank is spurring the adoption of similar efforts by states and cities across the country, and illustrates how Hartford's innovative approach to green energy financing can create jobs, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and lower energy bills."

Green Bank spokesman Craig Connolly said the quasi-public agency will use the award money to help further its Green Bank Academy in Washington, D.C., launched several years ago to teach other states about green financing.

The academy is also sponsored by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Coalition for Green Capital

Connecticut last received Harvard's award in 2006, when the university recognized the state's Supportive Housing Pilots Initiative.

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