HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s public-private partnership to provide funds for clean energy projects has won an innovation award from Harvard University.
The Connecticut Green Bank will receive the Innovations in American Government Award later this summer during a ceremony in Hartford.
The bank was formed in 2011 by the legislature to leverage public funds in support of private investment in clean energy. Among other things, the bank loans money to companies that want to convert to solar, wind or other forms of carbon-free power.
Green Bank officials say they have secured $6 in private funds for every public dollar invested, helping fund more than 20,000 projects.
That amounts to about $1 billion in clean-energy investment and helped create about 13,000 jobs, officials said.
“The success of Connecticut’s Green Bank is spurring the adoption of similar efforts by states and cities across the country and illustrates how Hartford’s innovative approach to green energy financing can create jobs, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and lower energy bills,” said Stephen Goldsmith, the director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The award includes $100,000 to help replicate the bank’s initiatives.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has touted green banks as one way local governments can lead the effort to fight climate change even as the Trump administration is backing out of the Paris climate agreement.
“As cities and states across this country confront climate change, green banks can help mobilize more private investment and accelerate the growth of their local green energy economies,” the Democrat said
Kerry Brown, vice president for Curtis Packaging in Newtown, told the New Haven Register that his company used a loan from the Connecticut Green Bank loan and other assistance to preserve jobs, make the factory more efficient and help improve the environment.
“The rates were competitive and a $2.5 million project increased our equity by $8.1 million,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is pushing for a bill that would create a national green bank, based on Connecticut’s model.