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"Connecting capital to projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is at the core of our struggle against climate change," says Bryan Garcia, Green Bank president and CEO in a commentary published by The Bond Buyer. The Green Liberty Bond was created with this goal in mind, and to allow retail investors and concerned citizens to put their dollars behind green projects.
In the Summer 2020 issue of Environmental Finance, Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter discuss how Green Liberty Bonds "marry capitalism and civic virtue to help fund the state’s response to climate change."
Earlier this week, CSG EAST’s Energy and Environment Committee hosted a virtual discussion with officials at the Connecticut Green Bank, to learn about the first-ever lower denomination bond that is enabling citizens to invest in efforts to address climate change.
Green Liberty Bonds, offered in $1,000 denominations to individuals as well as institutional investors, are intended to fund projects that will further a number of broad societal goals as states work to decarbonize their energy systems, such as strengthening communities, promoting environmental justice and inclusivity, and advancing market transformation in green investing.
Connecticut Green Bank’s lower-dollar denomination bond received strong support from individual buyers in Connecticut and across the country as well as from institutional buyers
Earlier this month, the Connecticut Green Bank successfully sold-out of its inaugural Green Liberty Bond offering of $16,795,000 to retail and institutional investors in Connecticut and across the country. Demand was so strong that the supply of bonds could not meet the interest of those seeking to invest in Connecticut’s green economy.
Retail investors were given priority during a one-day retail order period on Tuesday, July 14. Total retail orders received during this order period surpassed $9.9 million. With first priority given to Connecticut citizen investors, their orders for nearly $5 million of bonds were filled before the national orders. Due to heavy volume of interest seeking the first two maturities, the Green Bank was only able to fill $1 million of the national retail order.
“When we conceived of the idea of the Green Liberty Bond, we wanted to develop a type of green investment that would enable everyday citizens to invest in confronting climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Green bonds now have a new sub-category – a bond sold directly to the people the proceeds of which are independently certified as financing projects with climate and environmental benefits. We invite other issuers to use the Green Liberty Bond structure and help fulfill the demand of our American investors.”
Article from The Bond Buyer:
Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first state-level green bank, plans to launch its Green Liberty Bonds next week.
The Rocky Hill-based bank will offer $16 million of the state-supported solar home renewable energy credit to retail and institutional investors Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively...
Article from Renewable Energy World:
The state’s green bank hopes to inspire residents to help fund clean energy investments to combat climate change.
The Connecticut Green Bank is offering residents a new way to personally invest in projects that confront climate change: mini green bonds.
Article from PV Magazine covering the initial Green Liberty Bond issuance:
In an industry first, Connecticut Green Bank is launching a retail climate bond series in which all of the proceeds generated from the roughly $16.1 million issuance will support rooftop solar deployment in the state...
To encourage Americans to be active in the global clean energy movement to confront climate change and to provide a way for Connecticut residents to strengthen their state’s green economy, the Connecticut Green Bank will be launching a new sub-category of green bonds – the Green Liberty Bond. Green Liberty Bonds are lower-dollar denomination bonds available to individual investors, the proceeds of which will be independently certified as financing projects with climate and environmental benefits.
It is anticipated that retail investors will be able to place orders for the initial $16 million Green Liberty Bonds on or about July 14, 2020, with institutional investors able to place orders on the following day.
“We wanted to create a financial instrument that allows Americans to invest in the climate economy and the future they want to see,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Through Green Liberty Bonds, residents can save for themselves and their families while supporting clean energy projects here in Connecticut that confront climate change. We envision a world empowered by the renewable energy of community, and by providing this investment opportunity in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are aligning investors with that vision.”
Modeled after the World War II Series-E bonds, which were purchased by more than 80 million Americans, Green Liberty Bonds are an opportunity for investors to take on the shared challenge of climate change through the purchase of bonds.
To launch the Green Liberty Bonds, the Green Bank is working with Ramirez & Co., Inc. as lead underwriter, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. as co-underwriter, Shipman & Goodwin LLP as bond counsel, Lamont Financial Services Corporation as financial advisor, and Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A. as trustee.
The Green Liberty Bonds are expected to be labeled “Certified Climate Bonds” by the Climate Bonds Initiative, and compliance of the bond’s issuance with the Climate Bonds Standards will be verified by Kestrel Verifiers.
“We are excited to be part of the issuance of this new type of green bond with a focus on bringing retail investors to the table,” said Brad Friedman, Senior Vice President, Ramirez & Co., Inc.
While the Green Liberty Bond will be a new offering for the Connecticut Green Bank, the organization has previously issued three privately placed bonds, and the 2019 bond was recognized by Environmental Finance for innovative green bond of the year and green bond asset backed security of the year.
To help inform residents about the Green Bank’s mission and programs, including the Green Liberty Bond, Green Bank Board of Directors Chairwoman Lonnie Reed and Bryan Garcia will host two informational webinars: one on Thursday, July 2 from 12 – 1 pm, and one on Tuesday, July 7 from 7 – 8 pm. The Preliminary Official Statement, notifications and webinar registration information can be found at www.greenlibertybonds.com.
This press release does not constitute a recommendation or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument, including the initial Green Liberty Bonds, or to adopt any investment strategy. Any offer or solicitation with respect to the initial Green Liberty Bonds will be made solely by means of the Preliminary Official Statement and Official Statement, which will describe the actual terms and conditions of the Green Liberty Bonds. The information provided is subject in all respects to the information presented in the complete Preliminary Official Statement prepared in connection with the initial Green Liberty Bonds. Any investment decisions regarding any of the Green Liberty Bonds should only be made after a careful review of the complete Preliminary Official Statement.
April 23, 2020 - The Bond Buyer recently interviewed Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Managing Director of Operations Eric Shrago about Green Liberty Bonds and the role this new subcategory of bond will play in expanding clean energy investment. These small-denomination retail-investor focused municipal bonds are modeled after the World War II Series E bonds, and the proceeds are independently certified to confront climate change.
When Environmental Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards winners were announced earlier this week, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized with two honors: the Award for Innovation – Green Bond Structure and the Award for Asset-Backed or Asset-Based Bond. These awards highlight the innovation and success of the Green Bank’s April 2019 $38.6 million in green asset backed securities, which was its first rated debt issuance, and the first ever solar asset-backed security (ABS) transaction by a green bank. The awards were judged by an independent panel comprising of 30 of the world’s largest green, social and sustainability bond investors.
IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CEFF, THE CONNECTICUT GREEN BANK (CGB) UNVEILED ITS PLANS to bring to market approximately $15 to $20 million of new $1,000 face value “Green Liberty Bonds.”
THE POTENTIAL BROAD APPEAL OF THE GREEN LIBERTY BONDS HINGES ON THEIR UNCOMMONLY LOW FACE VALUE – most municipal bonds are sold in minimum denominations of $5,000 rather than $1,000.
THE CGB HOPES THAT THE GREEN LIBERTY BONDS, IF BROADLY SUBSCRIBED IN CONNECTICUT, WILL ESTABLISH A PRECEDENT that encourages lawmakers to create a national green bond program analogous to the war bond programs of World War I and World War II.
As an August 2019 Forbes article points out, green bonds are a way to unlock financing to combat climate change.
Written for members of the investment community focused on energy efficient asset classes, this issue of the T-REX Trend Report uses Connecticut Green Bank’s landmark SHREC ABS deal to showcase how smart technology drives market transformation.
The Connecticut Green Bank has issued green Asset-Backed Securities consisting of $36.8 million in Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits (SHREC)Collateralized NotesSeries 2019-1 Class A and $1.8 million Series 2019-1 Notes, Class B. The financing is certified against the Climate Bonds Standard, providing investors with assurance of the deal’s green credentials. Verification against the Climate Bonds Standard was done by Kestrel Verifiers, a US-based company. Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit specializing in environmental impact assessment, provided an independent review of the beneficial impacts of the activities and programs financed with the securities. The Green Bank worked with RBC Capital Markets as their underwriter and sole book runner in this green bond transaction.
Connecticut is bucking a national trend of disparity when it comes to solar adoption among communities of color, according to figures released today by the Connecticut Green Bank. The rise is due to Green Bank’s successful efforts to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for homeowners in communities of color and low-to-moderate income (LMI) households by intentionally engaging these traditionally underserved communities.
The Connecticut Green Bank is pleased to announce the sale of $38.6 million investment-grade rated ABS notes. This innovative first-of-its-kind issuance monetizes the solar home renewable energy credits (SHRECs) generated through the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP). The sale was comprised of two tranches of SHRECs produced by more than 105 megawatts of 14,000 residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SHRECs were aggregated by the Green Bank and sold in annual tranches to Connecticut’s two investor-owned utilities, Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Company, at a fixed, predetermined price over 15 years. The funds raised through this sale will recover the costs of administering and managing the RSIP, including the incentives offered to residential participants in the program.