The Connecticut Green Bank and Running Brook Farms in Killingworth announced the closing of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing for the installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system at Running Brook Farms. The garden center and landscaping business has been in Killingworth for more than 50 years. In addition to a nursery and greenhouses, Running Brook Farms offers a complete range of landscaping services from design to construction. In 2019, Running Brook Farms became one of the first farms in Connecticut to grow hemp for the production of medicinal CBD oil.
“We have chosen to invest in solar technology simply because it is the right thing to do both for our business and the environment. We feel that is our responsibility to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. In particular given the intense energy demands associated with indoor cannabis production, solar technology should be part of every growers’ sustainability plan!” said Scott Papoosha, owner of Running Brook Farms.
The 47.52-kW solar system was installed by Waldo Renewable Electric of Old Lyme, a solar contractor using the C-PACE program for the first time.
Running Brook Farms was able to secure a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant that covered 25% of the total project cost, with C-PACE financing covering the remainder. The Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development’s CT Farm Energy Program (CFEP) helped Running Brook Farms with one-on-one assistance in applying for the REAP grant. Since 2010 CFEP has assisted with the implementation of over $24 million dollars in energy projects in the state which equates to just under $5 million in REAP grants secured.
“Making farms resilient is more important than ever. Farms are not only stewards of the land but also providers of our food,” said Amanda Fargo-Johnson, CT Farm Energy Program (CFEP) Director. “Assistance from CFEP can help a farm create a sustainable plan for their energy needs, whether through energy efficiency upgrades or generating their own renewable energy. For some farms it’s one project for other farms it may mean multiple projects in phases to help them attain energy resilience.”
This project is also credited as the one that recently propelled Connecticut’s C-PACE program Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program over the $200 million in clean energy investment milestone.
“I’m excited that Running Brook Farms is able to move forward with this solar project, and that they helped the program reach this milestone. Connecticut’s C-PACE program is the most successful in per capita deployment when compared to other state programs,” said Mackey Dykes, VP of financing programs at the Green Bank. “It takes a strong network of contractors, lenders and building owners working together towards the goal of reducing building level emissions to make this happen.”
News item from Connecticut Green Bank