- Cathy O’Connor
Clean energy program launches for commercial properties in county
Oklahoma County is introducing a new clean energy financing program for commercial property owners. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, enables private landowners to receive low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, water conservation and building resiliency projects.
The C-PACE program in Oklahoma County was designed to facilitate private financing between private C-PACE capital providers and commercial property owners located within the county. The funding can be used for construction costs, new energy-efficient systems such as solar, wind or geothermal power for the facility and systems to reduce water use or reduce emissions. C-PACE financing is designed to be repaid by an assessment on the borrower’s real property that is similar to special purpose district property assessments and is treated in a manner similar to ad valorem real property taxes.
The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners approved the Oklahoma County C-PACE program on Nov. 1. Already, there are projects that are ready to apply for C-PACE financing. One of those projects is from Coop Ale Works, a 12-year-old, rapidly growing regional craft brewery based in Oklahoma City. As the business continues to grow, Coop Ale Works has actively sought a location to accommodate their brewing operations and taproom. Coop Ale Works is the selected developer by the state of Oklahoma to purchase the 23rd Street Armory and permanently relocate the business to the heart of the city and save one of Oklahoma City’s largest architectural gems. Their new destination development will include a 27-room boutique hotel, restaurant, event space and pool club. The company would use the C-PACE program to upgrade the building’s windows and roof insulation to a higher energy rating, install a site-wide solar energy system, utilize advanced water and wastewater conservation systems and install heating and cooling systems that will keep this massive open-space facility energy efficient.
C-PACE is a national initiative that began in 2009 and 22 states have established local commercial C-PACE programs resulting in more than $670 million in annual investment in 2019. C-PACE financing has been used in other states to facilitate construction of major public projects, including the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Audi Field, home of the DC United professional soccer club in Washington, D.C.