Project Update

June 3, 2020

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

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. The project was originated by Dividend Finance and funded by LordCap PACE.

FREDERICK, Md. – 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.

Dividend Finance is 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, LordCap PACE as a funding partner, 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 LordCap PACE’s inaugural C-PACE financing provided to a Maryland property owner.  “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Jessa and her team,” said Joseph Lau, Chief Investment Officer of LordCap PACE.

“Dividend embraces the City of Frederick’s leading advocacy within Maryland for reducing the carbon footprint of its property owners by embracing clean energy initiatives,” said Peter Grabell, Senior Vice President, PACE for Dividend Finance.  “This project jump starts our work with our Maryland stakeholders to advance the installation of renewables and energy efficiency measures on commercial properties statewide,” he added. 

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.

UPDATE: Solar Installation Finished 06/03/2020

Congratulations to the Frederick Indoor Sports Center (FISC) and their partners at Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) for completing their C-PACE financed solar installation! This incredible project, consisting of building upgrades and a 440 KW solar production system, will offset the property’s energy usage by 100% and will allow FISC to continue being a center of the community while saving money.

Solar installation photos  

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.

Correction: This article was updated on October 25th to recognize Dividend Finance as the originator of the project and LordCap PACE as the funder.