C-PACE Financing Backs C&I Solar Project In Connecticut

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Stencil Ease, a specialty stencil manufacturing company in Old Saybrook, Conn., is getting a 72 kW rooftop solar project that will be capable of generating more than 90% of the business’ electricity needs.

To finance the project, the 15,000-square-foot laser cutting facility is using Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing provided by the Connecticut Green Bank. The solar system, consisting of 208 panels, will be installed by Smart Roofs Solar of Newtown, Conn.

C-PACE allows property owners to install energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy on their buildings without upfront costs. The financing is repaid through a town’s property tax billing system as a benefit assessment, akin to a water or sewer assessment.

“When I moved Stencil Ease to Old Saybrook in 1997, we bought our first piece of manufacturing equipment and have been vertically integrated ever since,” says Brian Greenho, owner of Greenho Enterprises LLC. “I sold the business to private equity in 2015. and the new owner group has built on the legacy of stencil manufacturing and being able to ship any of 55,000 items anywhere in the world in 24-48 hours. Through my commercial real estate and solar development company, Greenho Enterprises LLC, I wanted to make an environmentally conscious decision to globally reduce overall consumption of fossil fuels.”

The project’s gross installed cost is $215,000, and the expected average annual energy cost savings over 20 years is estimated at about $20,000 a year. Stencil Ease is also a beneficiary of an Energy on the Line grant of $14,081 – a program developed in partnership with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund to provide Connecticut manufacturers with even greater net energy savings from a C-PACE project.

“Connecticut is home to many great manufacturers, from submarines to stencils and everything in between, and our C-PACE program is helping them reduce their energy costs,” says Mackey Dykes, vice president of commercial and institutional programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “With a lower energy burden, these businesses can focus on their products and services while increasing their bottom line.”

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