Frederick Indoor Sports Center: Leading the Way in Local Clean Energy Solutions

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Working with a project development team with strong local ties, the Frederick Indoor Sports Center has been approved for over $880,000 of C-PACE financing to fully fund the purchase and installation of over 440 kW of solar production capacity in Frederick, Maryland

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During the first week of October, the Maryland Commercial PACE program (MD-PACE) closed the largest solar project to benefit from C-PACE financing in the state to date. The Frederick Indoor Sports Center (FISC) will use over $880,000 of C-PACE financing to fully fund the purchase and installation of over 440 kW of solar production capacity in Frederick, Maryland. Commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing is available to commercial property owners to invest in energy efficiency improvements in their property and the installation of renewable energy generation. The Frederick Indoor Sports Center is the 26th C-PACE project in Maryland and the second largest C-PACE project in the MD-PACE program to date.

The Frederick Indoor Sports Center C-PACE project was locally driven from the outset. The project’s engineering, procurement, and construction partner, Sustainable Energy Systems (SES), is a renewable energy design and installation business based out of Frederick, Maryland that has been operating in the Mid-Atlantic since 2008 and has over sixty local employees. SES’s co-owners, Zayn Bradley and Rollie Belles, and Paul Fuhrmann, Director of Business Development and Partnerships grew up in Frederick and have been playing soccer every week at FISC for over fifteen years. Today they continue to play at FISC weekly alongside their employees. Mr. Fuhrmann was introduced to the MD-PACE program through Heather Graham, previously of Frederick County government and now at Maryland’s Department of Commerce. Mr. Fuhrmann pitched the idea of using C-PACE financing to fund a solar array on top of FISC to its owners, Roby Malandrucco and Tony Checchia, outspoken proponents of renewable energy and solar energy production in the community. According to Mr. Fuhrmann, he recommended C-PACE financing because, “In this particular application, C-PACE financing made sense. The ability to fund such a large solar project without tapping into the financial resources that could be used to develop FISC outside of renewable energy was a game changer. It was a win-win for everyone involved.”

The resulting project finances over $880,000 to install over 1,300 solar panels, equivalent to approximately 440 KW of solar production capacity, on the roof of the Frederick Indoor Sports Center. The solar array is designed to offset the property’s electricity consumption by 100%, meaning that FISC will no longer purchase electricity from the electrical grid. This is an unusual achievement for commercial properties, which are frequently able to offset only a portion of their actual electricity consumption through the installation of solar energy generation. Mr. Fuhrmann expects that this project alone will provide a team of solar installers ranging between five and twelve people per day with two months’ worth of work. This is SES’s second C-PACE project in Frederick County. SES was also the lead contractor for Frederick County’s first C-PACE project at the Bar-T Ranch.

The provider of C-PACE financing for this project is Dividend Finance, a longtime partner of SES in the residential space, and now, commercial solar PV projects. Dividend Finance is proud to partner with SES, the owners of FISC, and with the MD-PACE program to provide the financing solution for this venture. All these parties shared a commitment to utilize C-PACE financing to make the envisioned conversion to solar PV a reality, using the MD-PACE program to match long-term capital with long-term renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.

This project represents Dividend’s inaugural C-PACE financing provided to a Maryland property owner. Dividend embraces the initiatives of the City of Frederick and the State of Maryland to promote renewables and resiliency and is committed to deploying more capital within Maryland to further buildings’ efficiency and sustainability.

As the official Bank of the Frederick Indoor Sports Center and the consenting bank to the project, Fulton Bank is also proud to support FISC’s participation in the MD-PACE program. Houston Darling, the Commercial Relationship Manager for Fulton Bank, saw the project as an opportunity for Fulton Bank to be an active partner and catalyst to FISC’s owners achieving their goals. The long-term investment will work as both an investment in energy sustainability and in the local community. Fulton remains committed to clients and communities and is excited for FISC and its leadership to continue to lead by example and be a cornerstone of Frederick and the sports community.

Ultimately, the FISC project is the result of a few childhood friends who work together on solar projects putting their skills to use to improve the business operations and environmental sustainability of the place where they play soccer every week. The project was reviewed and approved by Jessa Coleman, Manager of the MD-PACE program and a native of Frederick, County. As such, this is a local project through and through: a Frederick sports center can improve its energy efficiency thanks to the hard work of a Frederick-base contractor, the support of its Frederick-based bank, and the oversight of a Frederick-raised administrator.

The MD-PACE program is delighted to announce the approval of this locally oriented project with such an impressive clean energy output.

About the MD-PACE Program
The MD-PACE program is sponsored by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), a corporate instrumentality of the state of Maryland which advances the adoption of clean energy, energy efficiency products, services and technologies. MCEC leverages private capital to help homeowners, businesses, and government entities reduce energy costs. The MD-PACE program offers C-PACE financing to commercial property owners statewide.

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