PROVIDENCE, RI – Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank), announced today that its fourth Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) project has been financed. The program will allow US Extruders, a manufacturer that produces custom single-screw extruders in Westerly, RI, to finance the installation of roof-mounted solar panels. The improvements will save US Extruders an estimated $247,000 (net of debt service) in reduced energy costs over the 20-year financing term. The total investment in the project is $503,000.
The solar panels will provide clean energy to power US Extruder’s operations and reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 2,354 tons over the 20-year term.
“Investing in green energy is good for both our economy and the environment,” Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. “Rhode Island is already facing unique challenges due to climate change—we have to use every tool in our toolbox to fight back. Through programs like RI C-PACE, the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is helping our communities to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our climate resiliency.”
“Rhode Island’s C-PACE program enables our business owners to access low-cost, long-term, financing to invest in their business - while stabilizing their energy costs over the long term,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “The installation of solar panels on commercial buildings not only keeps our tradesmen and women working, it also reduces the consumption of fossil fuels in the Ocean State.”
“Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is excited to be helping local businesses become more competitive through the C-PACE program,” Diehl said. “Not only does the program make financial sense for businesses by reducing their energy bill, but it’s also reducing our carbon emissions and putting Rhode Islanders to work.”
“To continue to grow our business we look for every opportunity that can help us be competitive, and there are several Rhode Island programs that are doing just that,” stated Daniel Schilke, Operations Director for US Extruders. “The C-PACE program made Direct Energy Solar’s design proposal a viable option for us because the payback is immediate from a cash flow perspective.”
C-PACE provides financing for clean energy projects that generate significant reductions in energy use and therefore major cost savings for commercial and industrial property owners in Rhode Island. Projects eligible for C-PACE financing include energy efficient upgrades such as lighting, insulation, heating and cooling systems, and renewable energy projects. Direct Energy Solar is the solar developer on the US Extruders Westerly project.
“Direct Energy Solar is thrilled to continue working with the Infrastructure Bank, Greenworks Lending and our partners to deliver another renewable energy project to Rhode Island,” said Ron French, Head of Direct Energy Solar. “The Infrastructure Bank is promoting cleaner business practices and we’re excited to be a part of that acceleration.”
C-PACE requires that all mortgage holders on the property provide consent for PACE assessment financing. Westerly Community Credit Union provided mortgage holder consent for this project. In addition, Greenworks Lending served as the C-PACE lender for US Extruder’s project.
“The environment for commercial property owners to invest in renewable and energy efficiency infrastructure is very strong in Rhode Island,” stated Jessica Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Greenworks Lending, a private capital provider in the RI-PACE program. “Our ability to provide long-term fixed-rate financing through the RI-PACE program is a large part of that picture because owners can reap the tax benefits and monthly utility savings all while preserving their own capital for core business activities,” she continued.
Projects must be in cities and towns that have opted-in to the C-PACE program. A full list of participating communities is available at www.RI-CPACE.com. Currently, 17 municipalities are participating and realizing the tremendous benefit to businesses in their communities, while many others are in the process of joining.