Solar MAP guides Connecticut munis through project development process
PV Magazine | Joe Bebon
March 10, 2021
The state’s Green Bank program is helping four local governments install solar at more than a dozen public buildings.
The Connecticut Green Bank announced the first cities in the state to make use of its new Solar Marketplace Assistance Program, or Solar MAP.
Solar MAP is designed to help towns and cities navigate the process of installing solar at their public buildings and achieve energy savings. The Green Bank said the program provides support throughout the development process, from identifying viable sites to soliciting installation services and arranging financing.
The first participating municipalities–Manchester, Mansfield, Portland, and Woodbridge–will install 14 solar systems adding up to 3.2 MW, with $3.6 million in estimated total savings.
Manchester Mayor Jay Moran said it would have been “much more difficult” for the town to go solar without the program.
To complete the projects, the Green Bank chose Greenskies Clean Energy, a national solar developer based in North Haven, Connecticut, through a competitive bid process. By aggregating multiple solar PV systems across the four municipalities in its solicitation for solar developers, the Green Bank said it was able to achieve competitive pricing through economies of scale.
To support Solar MAP, the Green Bank also partnered with CSW Energy for technical support to evaluate buildings, such as town halls, emergency services buildings, and schools, for their solar potential.
The Green Bank also arranges for project financing through a power purchase agreement (PPA). Since 2014, the Green Bank Solar PPA has facilitated solar projects at municipal buildings with no upfront installation costs, no new debt to incur, and no operations and maintenance costs. The Green Bank said the PPA allows municipalities to lock in low electricity prices so the project cash flow is positive in year one.