NY Green Bank Loans Catalyze $100M to Finance Community Solar Projects

May 16, 2024
Community solar offers an alternative and sometimes more accessible type of renewable energy. Some microgrid developers are interested in community solar as part of their projects.

Distributed energy resource developer Catalyze has secured $100 million in financing to support 79 MW of community solar projects planned across the state of New York.

Catalyze, which builds, owns and operates on-site solar and battery storage systems, received the loan from NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The transaction is structured so that Catalyze will commit to developing many of the distributed solar projects to connect with disadvantaged communities.

“We are excited to leverage our extensive community solar expertise to ensure the success of NY Green Bank’s term loan supporting a community distributed generation (CDG) portfolio,” Jared Haines, CEO of Catalyze, said in a statement. “CDG is one of the most effective means of making solar energy more accessible to low-to-moderate income communities.”

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Community solar offers an alternative and sometimes more accessible type of renewable energy. Rooftop solar is too expensive for many potential residential customers, while utility-scale solar is larger and may or may not be funded by rates impacting customers who don’t actually receive that energy directly.

The NY Green Bank funding is in line with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal of installing 6 GW (or 6,000 MW) of distributed solar by 2025 and 10 GW by 2030.

Last month, Catalyzer announced completion of 252 kW in direct current solar and a 125-kW energy storage for the 66 Galen building in Watertown, Massachusetts. The renewable energy and on-site electric vehicle charging will provide clean energy for the new office and life-sciences laboratory complex.

Some microgrid developers are interested in community solar as part of their projects. At Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., Scale Microgrid Solutions and Urban Ingenuity include a community solar array that is available to area residents, non-profit organizations and small businesses.

Late last year, Catalyze announced development plans for community solar projects in Rochester, Lancaster and Amherst, New York.

 

About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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