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April 27, 2017 CT Green Guide

Nonprofit solar installer enters CT market

GRID Alternatives GRID Alternatives employees work on a multifamily solar installation in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. The company is now expanding into the Connecticut market through a partnership with the Green Bank.

The Connecticut Green Bank has established a new partnership with a nonprofit solar installer, which revealed its first Connecticut project on Thursday.

GRID Alternatives, which is headquartered in California with operations in New York, Colorado and Washington, D.C., said it’s installing 52 kilowatts of solar panels on a 57-unit apartment complex in Norwalk.

The Green Bank financed 25 percent of the approximately $170,000 project. The remainder was financed through tax equity from a private capital source, according to the Green Bank. The investor will pass on the value of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar in the form of reduced energy costs. 

The solar panels are expected to save New Neighborhoods Inc., the nonprofit owner of Fair Street Apartments, $360,000 over the life of the panels, GRID said. Nonprofits are unable to claim the ITC because they don't pay taxes.

Fair Street is one of nearly 300 multifamily properties in the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s portfolio that were evaluated by GRID. The evaluations were performed free of charge, thanks to a grant from the JPB Foundation.

The Green Bank is assessing those evaluations, and could commit to financing for multifamily additional projects.

“By reducing the energy burden on multifamily affordable properties, we are ensuring inclusive prosperity in Connecticut’s clean energy economy,” Green Bank CEO Bryan Garcia said in a statement Thursday.

[Editor's note: This story was updated on April 28 to add information about the cost, financing structure and size of the solar array]

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