(a) There is established an account to be known as the “renewable energy and efficient energy finance account”, which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the Clean Energy Fund, established pursuant to section 16-245n. The account shall contain any moneys required or permitted by law to be deposited in the account and any funds received from any public or private contributions, gifts, grants, donations, bequests or devises to the account. The Connecticut Green Bank may make grants, investments, loans or other forms of financial assistance from the account in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The Connecticut Green Bank, in consultation with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Economic and Community Development and the State Treasurer, shall establish a renewable energy and efficient energy finance program. Said bank shall make grants, investments, loans or other forms of financial assistance under said program to projects for the purchase and installation of (1) renewable energy sources, including solar energy, geothermal energy, thermal energy storage, electric storage and fuel cells or other energy-efficient hydrogen-fueled energy, or (2) energy-efficient generation sources, including units providing combined heat-and-power operations with greater than sixty-five per cent efficiency or such higher efficiency level as said bank may prescribe. Said bank may make grants under said program of up to two and one-half per cent of the balance in the account to support workforce development initiatives in connection with deployment of the projects. Said bank shall give priority to applications for grants, investments, loans or other forms of financial assistance to projects that use major system components manufactured or assembled in Connecticut. Each grant, investment, loan or other form of financial assistance shall be in an amount that makes the cost of purchasing, installing and operating the renewable energy or energy-efficient generation source competitive with the grid’s or other end users’ current electricity expenses.
(c) On or before November 1, 2012, the Connecticut Green Bank shall develop an application for grants, investments, loans or other forms of financial assistance under this section for the purpose of purchasing, installing and operating renewable energy or energy-efficient generation sources and may receive applications for such grants, investments, loans or other forms of financial assistance on and after the date the application is developed. Applications shall include, but not be limited to, a complete description of the proposed renewable energy or energy-efficient generation source.
(d) On or before January 1, 2013, and annually thereafter, the Connecticut Green Bank shall report on the effectiveness of said program to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy.