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Learn about Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including Featured News, Key Projects, and The Team.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We efficiently leverage limited capital and offer below-market, innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, transportation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality of life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment.
Established by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1989, the Bank’s mandate was significantly expanded in 2015 by adding energy and brownfield remediation initiatives to its existing water and transportation programs. The Bank’s expanded mandate has significantly enhanced its ability to provide competitive financing to a broader variety of infrastructure-based projects.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced $1,000,000 in action grants for inaugural participants of the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP). Through the program, five communities developed climate resilience plans with prioritized local actions and will now use the grant funds for implementation.
“The Infrastructure Bank is committed to accelerating investment in sustainable infrastructure that better prepares Rhode Island communities for a changing climate” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “We look forward to building on the success of the first round of the program and partnering with communities statewide to prepare and invest in critical infrastructure.”
To develop a prioritized list of actionable plans and projects, program participants completed Community Resilience Building workshops led by The Nature Conservancy. At the conclusion of the workshop process, the participating municipalities submitted action grant proposals for identified projects with a required 25% local match. After a competitive review process, the selection committee recommended the following projects to receive funding for implementation:
Barrington – $201,000
Coastal restoration for flood mitigation at Walker Farm
Green infrastructure for water quality benefits at Bowden and Opechee Streets
Portsmouth – $339,000
Rehabilitation and stabilization of the Melville Dam
Three flood mitigation projects to expand the capacity of existing infrastructure for increasing precipitation volumes
Warren – $156,000
Westerly – $304,000
Flood protection wall at the Old Canal St. Pump Station
Two green infrastructure projects to reduce flooding and improve water quality of the Pawcatuck River
The Infrastructure Bank and Nature Conservancy will be announcing the 2020 round of the Municipal Resilience Program participants at the Infrastructure Banks’s Legislative Day on February, 12th, from 3pm – 4pm at the Statehouse. Also being highlighted during the program will be the grant recipients from the 2019 Program Round.
“Better prepared municipalities lead to a better prepared Ocean State. Rising sea levels, increasing heat, and extreme storm events will have long-term effects on local infrastructure and residents,” said Shaun O’Rourke, Director of Stormwater and Resiliency at the Infrastructure Bank and the State’s Chief Resiliency Officer. “The Municipal Resilience Program is building a statewide pipeline of priority projects to more effectively and efficiently respond to the climate impacts we are already experiencing.”
“The Nature Conservancy is proud to be an implementation partner on the Municipal Resilience Program. Municipalities across the state are already confronted with the realities of climate change. The workshops empower communities to collaboratively figure out how to meet these challenges,” said Sue AnderBois, The Nature Conservancy’s Climate and Energy Program Manager. “These grants will help the initial Resilient Rhody Municipalities implement some of their priorities – and we are pleased to see that the Governor’s proposed Beach, Clean Water and Green Bond includes funding for an additional 20 municipalities.”
The program supports the goals outlined in the state’s Climate Resilience Action Strategy (Resilient Rhody) released by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2018. Resilient Rhody identified steps the state can take to protect against unexpected events, like severe weather, while addressing chronic environmental stresses, such as sea level rise and aging infrastructure. The MRP empowers cities and towns to evaluate each of their unique vulnerabilities to changing weather and severe weather events, while providing them with the funds necessary to take on specific resilience projects.
More information about the program can be found here.
About Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We leverage capital in a revolving fund to offer innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality of life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment. For more information, please visit www.riib.org.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions such as Community Resilience Building to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank) is proud to announce the closing of a Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bond refinancing transaction, with a principal value of $153.8 million. The transactions will generate $7.8 million of savings for 26 municipalities and utilities.
“Through proactive balance sheet management, the Infrastructure Bank monitors interest rate environments to identify opportunities to lower our cost of borrowing,” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “By refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates, we can provide savings to our customers and maximize the amount of capital available to finance additional infrastructure projects.”
The refinancing of Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund bonds is part of a strategic effort by the Bank to take advantage of low interest rates and provide financial savings to customers. This past July, the Bank completed a refinancing for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bonds, which generated more than $550,000 of cash-savings for borrowers. In 2019, the Bank has created $8.4 million of cash-savings for borrowers.
“Ensuring that Rhode Islanders have access to, and can afford, clean water is core to the Infrastructure Bank’s mission and is important to every one of us,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “This refinancing of clean water debt will help Rhode Island cities and towns save millions of dollars, which can be used to create additional economic opportunity; so that Rhode Island remains a great place to work and live.”
Over the last five years, the Bank has provided $33.4 million in savings to borrowers by refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is providing $350,000 in financing for drinking-water system improvements at the Four Seasons Mobile Home Cooperative Association in Tiverton, the Providence-based bank announced.
The financing was made possible through the bank’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The principal “forgiveness” loan will allow Four Seasons to improve the safety and quality of residents’ drinking water without compromising the cooperative’s finances, the bank said.
The Town of Warren financed a $20 million upgrade to the Town's wastewater treatment facility through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund managed by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. The project will modernize the wastewater treatment facility by reducing nitrogen discharges into the Warren River, increasing energy efficiency, replacing obsolete equipment, improving safety for workers, and increasing the resiliency of the facility to storms, flooding, and the effects of climate change. The resilience components of the project make it the first wastewater treatment facility in Rhode Island to incorporate flood protection measures identified in the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's 2017 climate change vulnerability assessment. Specific measures include relocating electrical equipment and motor drives above projected flood elevation and replacing pumps and mixers with submersible motors where raising pumps above flood level is not feasible. Green elements of the project also allowed Warren to receive approximately $450,000 of principal forgiveness that reduces the overall cost of the project.
Borrower - Town of Warren
Program(s) - Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
Amount - $20,000,000
US Extruders, a small manufacturer of screws and extruders located in Westerly, financed the installation of a 210.4 kW rooftop solar installation using the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. By financing the project through C-PACE, US Extruders was able to access 100% long-term financing that will cover the full cost of the project. Over the 20-year loan term, US Extruders is projected to save more than $1.1 million - funds that can be reinvested into core business activities. Additionally, the project will reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,300 tons over 20 years, an amount equivalent to the emissions produced by burning more than 3.4 million pounds of coal.
Borrower - US Extruders
Program(s) - Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE)
Amount - $503,953
The City of Newport is financing a series of improvements to the Newport Water Pollution Control Plant through RIIB’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. These upgrades are intended to address wet weather flows and mitigate combined sewer overflows (CSOs), which are a substantial source of water pollution. Among the upgrades made to the facility are an increase in the capacity that it can treat to better handle wet weather events, chemically-enhanced primary treatment, biofilters and improved solids management to minimize odors and a UV disinfection system to protect against the escape of bacteria. Additionally, RIIB’s Efficient Buildings Fund provided financing for solar panels that will provide a portion of the facility’s electricity and energy efficiency measures will reduce the amount of energy that the facility requires to operate.
The project loan total was $49,227,000 which was a combination of $47,985,000 from CWSRF and $1,242,000 from EBF.
Borrower - City of Newport
Program(s) - Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Efficient Buildings Fund (EBF)
Amount - $49,227,000
Embrace Home Loans, a full-service direct mortgage lender operating nationally, used Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to finance the cost of two solar energy projects at Embrace’s corporate headquarters in Middletown. Through C-PACE, Embrace received 100% long-term financing that will cover the entire $1.2 million cost of the two solar installations. Over 20 years, the projects are expected to save Embrace more than $226,000 after debt service is accounted for. In addition to the cost savings, the projects will also have a substantial environmental impact by reducing annual emissions of CO2 by 188.6 tons, equivalent to the emissions produced from the average passenger vehicle travelling over 452,000 miles.
Borrower - Embrace Home Loans
Program(s) - Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE)
Amount - $1,213,000