The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a group that counts among its members more than 6,000 banks across the country, recently announced its 2016 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards, with a solar project in Colorado winning its Grand National Award. The winning project in 2016 was awarded to the Alpine Bank in Glenwood Springs, CO, which has invested in five community solar projects since 2014.
Other recipients of the awards included community banks promoting local shopping and spending in unique ways and others that offer door-to-door banking services for seniors. “Community banks have a proud tradition of volunteer service in their communities; lending a hand where most needed,” said ICBA President Camden Fine. “It is an honor and a privilege to shine a light on this year’s award recipients whose extraordinary and generous acts of charity uplift us all.”
Alpine Bank has invested $896,480 in 1,092, according to ICBA. Earlier this year the bank also purchased 82 solar panels from a Clean Energy Collective project then donated its ownership of the panels to the Summit County Family and Intercultural Resource Center. The center helps subsidize the energy bills for local families in need.
“We honor these banks by sharing their story and applauding their significant works for their community,” said ICBA Chairman Rebeca Romero Rainey, chairman and CEO of First Bank of Centinel Bank of Taos, N.M. “They join more than 100 community banks and employees recognized by ICBA’s Community Bank Service Awards since 2002 for lending a helping hand and helping to spur economic prosperity.”
Community banks are often local partners in solar projects across the US and some can provide financing where other financing options aren’t available. They are increasingly seeing an opportunity with long-term financing of solar power, but unlike some of the larger national banks, can’t provide large tax-equity funds to solar installers to finance projects locally. HOwever, they can offer compelling financing options on a case-by-case basis, and, as in case of Alpine Bank can donate solar installations or their portion to those in need.Tweet