NEW YORK — NRDC Release – The new Inflation Reduction Act is poised to make major investments across the country and in disadvantaged communities to more equitably spur development of green technologies that reduce or avoid climate pollution, according to participants at a Climate Week green bank event today in New York City, featuring keynote addresses from Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, sponsors of legislation creating a national climate bank.

“The new climate bill can be a real game changer for the U.S. on investing in clean energy, climate action and equity, if implemented the right way,” said Sarah Dougherty, director of the Green Finance Center at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council.) “Green Banks have a proven track record globally stimulating new private investment and starting new, self-sustaining markets for deploying climate solutions, including in low-income and marginalized communities. And they can play a key role in the U.S. addressing the climate crisis and building resilient communities.”

The new law contains $27 billion for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that can be used by cities, states, or Tribal Governments, new or existing green banks, as well as other long-standing institutions like Community Development Financial Institutions and credit unions, to cut climate pollution, clean up the air and drive clean energy, with more than half of the funding explicitly directed to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Green banks include stand-alone institutions and existing public development banks that are transformed with strong climate mandates and additional climate finance capacities. They can play a key role in advancing country priorities on climate and sustainable development goals.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund demonstrates the U.S. is serious about investing in clean energy, efficient buildings, and resilient infrastructure in disadvantaged communities, so businesses, families and individuals will benefit from cleaner air, better housing and infrastructure.

Around the world, green banks are a proven model. By sharing investment risks, building local capacity, and transforming markets, green banks help cities, states, and countries scale up climate action, ambition, and move closer to achieving climate targets under the international Paris Agreement on climate change.

Through mid-2021, Green Bank Network members globally invested $54.4 billion to support renewable energy, energy efficiency and other projects valued at $134.7 billion. Together, these green bank-supported projects are estimated to have avoided 48.03 million metric tons of carbon pollution, equivalent to taking 22.4 million cars off the road.

“We have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the transformational impact that green finance can deliver through a partnership between a national green bank, state and local green banks, and community financial institutions, said Eli Hopson, CEO, DC Green Bank. “In our communities right here in DC, we are already seeing the benefits of green jobs, clean energy, and equitable development. This new economic paradigm will create a powerful enabling environment to ensure that the future is clean and green and that no communities are left behind.”

Read the Full Release Here

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Client Spotlight

If you are wondering who DC Green Bank’s clients are, what impact they create in communities, and how bright the future is for the Clean Economy in the District – look no further. We are proud of the investments that we make and the impact they deliver.

Learn more below about the outstanding partners that are helping us build a cleaner, greener, more inclusive and more prosperous future for all.

Client Spotlight

Flywheel Development
  • September 20, 2022
  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Zoom and NYC
  • Register Here

    Climate Week NYC 2022

    Green Banking at Scale: Green banks delivering climate action at the city, state, and national level

    Event Details 
    • Date: September 20, 2022
    • Time: 2:00-4:00pm EDT (Doors open at 1:45 pm)
    • Location:71 W 23rd Street, #903, New York, NY (J.M. Kaplan Fund office) anZoom link (to follow upon registration)

    This is a hybrid in-person/virtual event at New York Climate Week 2022

    Event Description

    Speakers will explore the impact of the green bank model globally at the city, state, and national levels, and how green banks help advance both climate and equity goals.  The event will highlight the potential role and impact of a U.S. national green bank under the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. It will also showcase how existing green banks at the city and state levels successfully achieve climate and sustainable development targets by financing low-carbon, climate-resilient projects and spurring private financing markets that create new jobs. 

    Agenda (subject to change)

    2:00 pm             Opening and Keynote Remarks 

                                    Margret Trilli, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, ImpactAssets, NRDC Trustee

                                   Debbie Dingell, Representative of Michigan (Virtual) 

                                   Edward Markey, Senator of Massachusetts (Virtual) 

     

    2:30 pm              Fireside Chat and Audience Q&A 

                                    Marcelo Rouco, CEO, Ecosave Inc. 

                                    Gregory Randolph, Managing Director, NY Green Bank 

     

    3:00 pm              Green Bank Member Panel and Audience Q&A 

                                    Jeffrey Diehl, CEO & Executive Director, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank 

                                    Eli Hopson, CEO, DC Green Bank 

                                    Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President & CIO, Connecticut Green Bank 

                                    Sarah Davidson, Director, New York Green Bank 

                                  Moderator: Sarah Dougherty, Green Finance Center Director, NRDC 

     

    4:00 pm              Closing 

    By Alison Bennett, S&P Global

    Some industry leaders are advocating for billions of dollars in new federal funding for green banks to go toward a national nonprofit institution that could jump-start the clean energy market and help state and local banks.

    A green bank is a public, quasi-public or nonprofit institution that uses public funds to attract private investment in clean energy funds. More than 20 such banks now exist at the state and local level in the U.S. The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, provides a total of $27 billion for green banks through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

    Debate remains about whether that funding should be directed toward individual green banks or should be used to create a national bank that could leverage capital and create financial products to generate more money for green banks nationwide. The Coalition for Green Capital and the American Green Bank Consortium, as well as some lawmakers, are pushing for the latter option, saying that direct grants would not be enough to help the industry provide funding across the board.

    Of the total $27 billion, $7 billion will go to states, municipalities, tribal governments and eligible recipients to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy or benefit from zero-emission technologies or other types of emission reduction activities. The other $20 billion is earmarked for eligible nonprofits to provide funding assistance to green projects through direct and indirect investments — money that will be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The DC Green Bank, part of the District of Columbia’s government, said any money is welcome.

    “This really is a game-changer for us in terms of scale,” DC Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson said in an interview. “On a citywide scale, we are going to transform residents’ lives. With this volume, we can standardize products and work with private capital markets. It really is a transformation.”

    Read the Full Article Here

    By Keith Loria, Commercial Observer

    A joint venture between DC Green Bank and Rainplan has closed on an initial $2 million of financing to increase access and affordability for projects across Washington, D.C., designed to manage heavy rainfall, prevent flooding and filter storm runoff.

    The loan will deliver financial support for 14 residential projects and 10 commercial projects in the area. The loan will also fund stormwater support for scalable projects, including those in surrounding green mobility hubs, houses of worship, local businesses and residential communities, with a focus on Wards 5, 7 and 8.

    Each of the stormwater projects will incorporate green infrastructure to mitigate the negative impacts of water runoff and enhance neighborhood streetscapes. It’s projected that an estimated 100,000 gallons of water will be captured and filtered for each rainstorm.

    “We have found that many residential property owners in the D.C. area are concerned about basement flooding after storms and erosion of their landscaping from their property,” Kara Young, an expert at Rainplan, told CO. “As an example, if they install a rain garden or use bio-retention like planting trees, it will soak up the necessary rain and keep it from flowing or flowing into property foundations.”

    Read the Full Article Here

    DC Green Bank and Rainplan announced today the closing of an initial $2,000,000 deal to increase access and affordability for stormwater management infrastructure across the District. The loan agreement is groundbreaking in its commitment to deliver financing for both commercial and residential projects as well as its approach to diverse and scalable projects, including surrounding green mobility hubs, houses of worship, local businesses, and residential communities, with an emphasis on Wards 5, 7, and 8. All of the stormwater projects will take place in the District’s MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) service area, incorporating green infrastructure to mitigate negative water runoff impacts and enhance neighborhood streetscapes.

    “Traditionally stormwater investments have been singular commercial projects impacting one District area. What is unique about this deal is that it promotes equitable access to financing regardless of project location or size,” says Jenny Janis, the Ecosystem Lead of Rainplan. “The $2M loan is critical to enabling green infrastructure participation across all wards.”

    Cooper Martin, the Incentive Program Administrator at Rainplan, said of the project, “We are proud to work with DC Green Bank to support our stormwater portfolio. It is vital that we work with partners that understand the complexity and potential of this work and are willing to invest in innovative approaches. We look forward to delivering new stormwater projects across the District – prioritizing communities that are all-too-often left behind – and helping to build a more resilient city for all.”

    DC Green Bank’s four core investment areas are solar, green and energy efficient buildings, clean transportation, and stormwater green infrastructure. Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the investment, “By supporting stormwater projects DC Green Bank helps to protect people, property, and our environment from adverse impacts of climate change, create good jobs, and provide valuable services to entire communities. Rainplan’s innovative digital platform puts information at your fingertips to pursue projects in an affordable way.” This is DC Green Bank’s second investment in an emerging stormwater infrastructure project pipeline in the District.

    Read the Full Release Below 

    August-2022-Rainplan-Press-Release
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    Press

    Climate Law Ushers in New National Green Bank

    NRDC – Carolina Herrera, Sarah Dougherty, and Douglass Sims

    The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a long-overdue step toward establishing a national green bank that will unleash tens of billions of public and private dollars for investment in clean energy and climate-resilient infrastructure in underserved communities. In addition to supporting economic development, these investments will reduce air pollution and improve the health and safety of communities. The law empowers the EPA to fund nonprofit organizations designed to finance the rapid deployment of low- and zero-emissions products technologies and services, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Using this funding to establish a nonprofit national green bank will enable bold climate action across the country that puts underserved communities first. This is a major win following over a decade of advocacy by NRDC and its partners for the establishment of a federal green bank.

    Establishing a National Non-Profit Green Bank Will Ensure Maximum Impact

    The IRA includes $27 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency to establish the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to allocate:

    $7 billion to make grants available for states, municipalities, Tribal governments, and eligible recipients to invest in projects that enable low-income and economically, socially, and environmentally disadvantaged communities to deploy zero-emissions technologies and carry out other emissions-reducing activities
    $20 billion to make grants available to eligible recipients that invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    Of the $20 billion for grants to eligible recipients, $8 billion, or 40%, will be dedicated to projects benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities.

    DC Green Bank

    In May 2022, DC Green Bank closed a $7 million deal to accelerate the deployment of solar across the District of Columbia for low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents. The installations are expected to create hundreds of green jobs and reduce emissions by 2,500 tons of CO2 annually. A similar program financed by DC green bank to expand community solar is expected to cut electricity costs for qualified residents by as much as 50%.

    Read the Full Article Here

    The fight against climate change will need big investments in infrastructure like solar and wind farms, transmission grids and low-carbon industry. But it also needs many more small-scale investments for hundreds of millions of homes and businesses — and that kind of work is best done locally.

    So say green-bank proponents like Reed Hundt, the former U.S. Federal Communications Commission chair under the Clinton administration. As co-founder and CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, Hundt has spent the past 13 years working to expand the role of green banks, entities that use public funds to supply low-cost, long-term financing for projects that would otherwise struggle to get it.

    Since the first green bank was launched in Connecticut in 201123 have sprung up across 17 states, drawing in further private-sector lending for carbon-reducing projects such as rooftop solar, efficiency retrofits and electric heat-pump installations. Last week’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act brought the next step in that campaign: the creation of a $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, or in other words, a national green bank.

    The fund will be set up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a stand-alone entity; it’s required to begin disbursing funds within 180 days of the law’s passage. It will primarily work through state and local green banks, directing $20 billion to fund ongoing lending, loan-loss reserves and other activities. Of that amount, $8 billion is set aside for low-income and disadvantaged communities. These communities will also be the focus of the fund’s remaining $7 billion in financial assistance available for states, municipalities and tribal governments.

    Eli Hopson, CEO of the DC Green Bank in Washington, D.C. — the first city-based entity of its kind in the U.S. — added that green banks can lower the risk profile of relatively novel forms of lending for private-sector banks, as entities like NY Green Bank have done for community-solar projects and affordable-housing efficiency and electrification projects.

    For a commercial banker, these projects take as much work as a $10 million project or a $100 million project,” he said. ​For them to learn the new market of solar credits, get comfortable with the technology — that’s a big investment of time and resources.”

    Jessica Pitts, co-founder and principal of Flywheel Development, a Washington, D.C.–based sustainable development company that’s working with DC Green Bank on installing community solar in the Fairfax Village community, noted that ​the challenge with financing is the relative newness of the solar market compared to other business ventures, like restaurants or apartment buildings, that traditional banks are comfortable with financing.”

    One of the roles the green bank has served in working with us is legitimizing solar as an asset class or business enterprise that can be financed and should be financed, that it’s viable and makes sense,” she said.

    DC Green Bank is also working with PosiGen on its low-income solar programs, which have already landed enough customers to exhaust its existing $7 million loan facility, CEO Hopson said. While these loans are still in their early days, other green banks with longer track records ​report back to us that they have fewer challenges with loans in low-income communities than they do with more mainline business projects they fund,” he said. One potential reason is that, while businesses may ​use bankruptcy as a tool that can be deployed from time to time,” low-income community residents and groups ​are just committed to making it work.”

    DC Green Bank is seeking additional funding from the national green bank to double the size of its low-income solar program to $15 million, Hopson said. That’s one of a host of projects that are part of the Coalition for Green Capital’s $21 billion backlog estimate.

    From a national perspective, $27 billion invested in sustainable finance goes a long way toward drawing in the leverage from private institutions to say, ​This is a real commitment,’” he said.

    Read the Full Article Here

    (Washington, D.C.) – Today, President Joseph R. Biden signed the historic Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation is a landmark achievement on the road to a cleaner, more equitable, and more prosperous future for all. The Act is a downpayment towards meeting the necessary emissions reductions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Included in the bill is $20 billion for the creation of a national green bank. The Environmental Protection Agency now has the ability to create a single non-profit national clean power financing institution charged with deploying public dollars and unlocking private investment to accelerate the development of a 21st Century clean economy, supporting millions of good, green jobs, and providing a secure and livable environment for generations to come – a concept supported in the Congressional record by Rep. Debbie Dingell. In an important statement on who should benefit from this investment, of the $20 billion, 40% is earmarked for historically disadvantaged communities that have been left behind for decades. Lastly, an additional $7 billion will be made available through this Act for state, local, and tribal governments to provide even more financial support for low income and disadvantaged communities to benefit from clean energy and energy efficiency financing across the nation.

    Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the Inflation Reduction Act, “We now have an incredible toolkit to accelerate our fight against climate change and surging climate impacts. The Inflation Reduction Act provides a strong financial foundation on which we can build a clean future for all. We call on the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly deploy the capital to create a national green bank that will invest directly in clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate friendly projects, as well as deliver indirect financial support to existing state and local green banks and community serving financial institutions. We are in communities every day, building the relationships and green project pipelines necessary to scale impact and show what a clean future can mean for all. I applaud the efforts of climate Champions like Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ed Markey, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and the countless activists, environmental justice advocates and climate champions that have worked so hard to see this day come to fruition. If we are going to address climate change and give future generations a fighting chance, we can’t afford to waste any time before we get to work.”

    Brandi Colander, Chair of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors, said of the groundbreaking legislation, “The Inflation Reduction Act is the single largest climate investment in our nation’s history. We have an opportunity to get it right this time – for too long our patterns of investment have not prioritized minority-, low-income, and frontline communities on the road to our climate, energy, and public health goals. A significant portion of these dollars must support these communities, and DC Green Bank – and green banks across the country – must now demonstrate that sustainability is for everyone and that we are all in this together. The Board of Directors is excited to continue supporting the Green Bank team as we chart a strategic path forward that maximizes the climate and equity impacts of these federal funds and elevates community stories that bring the promise of a clean and bright future to all.”

    August-2022-Inflation-Reduction-Act-DCGB-Press-Release
  • August 17, 2022
  • 12:00 pm
  • Zoom
  • Registration Closed
    All participants must register to attend.

    DC Green Finance Authority (“DC Green Bank”) will conduct a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors, pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, (DC Official Code §2-574(1)).

    Pre-registration is required.

    Regular Meeting of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors

    August 17 2022

    By Kazi Stastna, CBC News

    You’ve heard of the gold rush? Get ready for the green rush. With close to $370 billion US ($475 billion Cdn) on the table, the race will soon be on south of the border to secure some of the clean-energy cash expected to flow out of the Inflation Reduction Act which Democrats hope to pass this coming week.

    “Green banks” are one way that the Biden administration intends to distribute the billions of dollars that are meant to accelerate the adoption of solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy.

    They are quasi-public entities that aim to attract private investment to small-scale green energy projects, such as residential solar installations, energy-efficient building retrofits and various forms of electrification.

    Part of what green banks say they bring to the table is staff with the technical know-how to assess the viability of projects. That was something that attracted the D.C. solar contractor Flywheel Development when it went through D.C. Green Bank to finance a solar roof on a rental building in a low-income neighbourhood in the city’s northwest.

    “Their base level of knowledge is just so much higher,” said Flywheel’s co-founder Jessica Pitts. “Lenders that we’ve approached have had much less institutional knowledge in terms of the basics of how do you even fund solar … what are your sources of income and how does it even work?”

    The project cost about $132,500, with the green bank kicking in $80,000, the company $26,000 and a city renewable energy program providing the rest. A private lender and the green bank will co-finance the long-term loan that enables Flywheel to oversee the project for the length of the 15-year contract it has with the city and the property owner.

    The roof will produce an average of 25,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to supply six households. In this case, the households it’s supplying are not actually in the building. The electricity generated is fed into the city’s grid and allocated to low- and moderate-income residents through a program called Solar for All that covers half their utility bill.

    Flywheel makes its money back by selling the electricity to the city and through solar energy credits, which sell for about $365 to $435 per megawatt hour in D.C., where utilities have to generate 10 per cent of their power from local solar sources by 2041.

    Read the Full Article Here

  • July 18, 2022
  • 5:00 pm
  • Zoom
  • Registration Closed
    Public participants must register to attend.

    DC Green Finance Authority (“DC Green Bank”) will conduct a special meeting of the Board of Directors, pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, (DC Official Code §2-574(1)).

    Pre-registration is required.

    Special Meeting of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors

    July 18, 2022