GBN Member Panel
The member panel featured Jeffrey Diehl, CEO & Executive Director of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President & CIO of Connecticut Green Bank, and Sarah Davidson, Director of Strategy, Impact, and Investor Relations at NY Green Bank
The panelists discussed the implications of the possible upcoming influx of capital to local lending institutions made available by the IRA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund.
- In NYGB’s view, the deployment of hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy infrastructure in the U.S will send a strong signal to the market after years of inconsistent climate policy, helping to scale investment activity in clean energy sectors.
- For DC Green Bank (DCGB), any incoming funds from the GGRF would represent an opportunity to both supercharge their existing focus and open new sectors for investment. For example, DCGB has been interested in getting into the electric vehicle market but hasn’t had the bandwidth to do so. The additional support for scale from the GGRF could help change this.
The panelists also discussed projects or initiatives financed by their institutions that have advanced equity, particularly with regard to access to renewable energy and energy efficiency in low- and middle-income communities. Examples include:
- Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) provided energy retrofit to a local school in a disadvantaged community, saving the district $150,000 in energy costs every year that the school board could then dedicate to other priorities such as teachers and other school improvements. Overall, projects implemented by RIIB have saved roughly $140 million dollars in reduced energy costs for small businesses and municipalities across the state.
- Connecticut Green Bank developed a working relationship as a lender for Posigen Solar as part of their Solar For All Program to provide solar installation for low-income communities across Connecticut. This transformed Connecticut from a state where most solar energy was benefiting higher-income residents to a state which now has an equal or slightly higher rate of solar energy among low-income communities than medium-high-income communities.