Key Equipment Finance Provides Financing for Community Energy Solar Project With Clarkson University

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Innovative public-private partnership enables research-focused university to go green while also creating living laboratory for student learning.

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Green energy financing can help more universities realize the many benefits of solar installations. - Doug Beebe, VP, energy finance, Key Equipment Finance

Key Equipment Finance, one of the nation’s largest bank-held equipment finance companies and an affiliate of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), and Community Energy, Inc., a leading renewable energy development and marketing company, today announced the completion of a $5.2 million solar installation project for Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

“This is a cutting-edge, public-private project enabled by our strong partnership with Clarkson University and Key Equipment Finance,” said R. Brent Alderfer, CEO and founder of Community Energy. “By working together, we are enabling the university to invest in a sustainable energy future through solar power.”

Owned and operated by Community Energy and financed by Key Equipment Finance, the project enables the research university to power its campus with solar energy while creating a living laboratory for students to study solar power. Support for this project came from Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NY-Sun is a $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.

“Clarkson University incorporates green practices into almost every aspect of campus life,” said James D. Fish, Clarkson University’s CFO, “and this solar project helps further our mission to also teach the next generation of leaders about meeting the energy needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.”

The installation of 7,700 Yingli solar panels by contractor Namasté Solar is located on 12 acres of university-owned land adjacent to the Potsdam airport. The solar array will generate 2.8 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity annually, or enough to power about 300 homes.

“Namasté Solar would like to thank Community Energy and KeyCorp for this opportunity to bring renewable solar energy to Clarkson University,” said Ben Griffin, commercial project developer, Namasté Solar. “This project represents a shining example of solar electricity in New York, and also clearly demonstrates Clarkson University’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy. We would also like to thank the Town of Potsdam and National Grid for their cooperation and support in making this a successful project.”

Through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Clarkson Solar LLC, Clarkson University will use a portion of the energy to supply research equipment, while the remainder will be delivered to the National Grid and credited to the university’s account as part of a remote net metering program by New York State.

“Both Clarkson University and Community Energy are examples of forward-thinking partners who are committed to renewable energy,” said Doug Beebe, vice president, energy finance, for Key Equipment Finance. “Green energy financing can help more universities realize the many benefits of solar installations.”

About Key Equipment Finance
Key Equipment Finance has been in the equipment finance business for 41 years and is one of the largest bank-based equipment finance providers in the U.S. The company provides tailored equipment lease and finance solutions for commercial clients and government entities. Through its manufacturer and vendor alliances unit, equipment finance programs are developed for manufacturers, distributors and resellers.

Key Equipment Finance’s specialty finance group includes a lease capital markets team to support corporations looking to optimize risk and revenue, and a lender finance team, which provides structured facilities to various sectors of the specialty finance market. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, Key Equipment Finance manages $9.1 billion in assets and originates $4.3 billion of equipment financing annually. For more information, visit

About KeyCorp
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was organized more than 160 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $89.8 billion at Sept. 30, 2014. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses under the name of KeyBank N.A. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Community Energy
Since its inception in 1999, Community Energy has led the development and construction of more than 1000 MW of wind and solar generating facilities. Community Energy has used a pioneering mix of utility off-take approaches, renewable energy marketing programs, new financing structures, development expertise, and public funding and policy support to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies at scale. With headquarters in Radnor, Pa and offices in Boulder, Colo., Community Energy has a strong presence in both western and eastern renewable energy markets. For more information about Community Energy, please visit

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Stacey Hartmann
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