RI Infrastructure Bank Issues First Public Market Green Bond
PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced the closing of its inaugural public-market Green Bond issuance for the Efficient Buildings Fund (EBF) program today. The Bank’s inaugural $18.3 million Efficient Buildings Fund Green Bond was given a top rating of “AA” by Standard and Poor’s (S&P). The Efficient Buildings Fund provides below-market interest rate loans to municipalities, school districts and quasi-state entities to invest in clean energy projects.
“Rhode Island has been a leader investing in clean energy to protect our vulnerable coastline and infrastructure against the effects of climate change. I applaud the Infrastructure Bank for using all available tools to increase investment in energy efficiency and clean energy projects within the public and private sectors,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo.
Since 2016, the Efficient Buildings Fund has reduced energy and maintenance costs for municipalities by approximately $66 million dollars through investments in onshore wind, solar, LED lighting and highly efficient heating and cooling improvements. These projects are estimated to generate emissions reductions equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of 3,400 American homes.
“The Infrastructure Bank, through the issuance of this green bond, will help broaden Rhode Island’s investor base,” said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Bank Board Member. “Investments from the Efficient Buildings Fund will also help Rhode Island cities and towns reduce their energy costs, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and create good jobs for our local tradesmen and women.”
In addition to the bond rating, EBF Green Bond received the highest green rating of “E1” through an independent third party evaluation by S&P. The EBF Bond was evaluated for climate resilience and environmental impact of underlying projects and the adherence of the transaction to the Green Bond Principles. S&P’s report highlighted the Bank’s strong transparency and governance procedures as well as adherence to the Green Bond Principles. A copy of the Green Evaluation is available here.
“The Infrastructure Bank prioritizes the implementation and efficacy of green components across all its programs,” said Infrastructure Bank CEO Jeffrey R. Diehl. “This transaction reinforces the vision that Governor Raimondo, Treasurer Magaziner and the General Assembly had when expanding the mandate of the Infrastructure Bank and creating the Efficient Buildings Fund. Loans made from this program reduce energy costs for municipalities, support the growth of local jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect our environment.”
By mobilizing long-term private capital in the bond market, the Bank was able to combine the limited EBF program capital to meet municipal demand for clean energy projects. Overall, the Bank has provided $31 million in loans to twelve municipalities across the State. By accessing the bond market, the Bank was able to finance more projects today than would be possible with the limited amount of capital in the program.