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Eastern Bank provides more than $40 million in financing for Massachusetts solar farms

Latest effort underscores Eastern Bank’s commitment to protecting the environment

BOSTON, July 16, 2013 – Eastern Bank has provided $42 million in financing for the creation of four solar farms in Massachusetts and one in New Jersey, the bank announced today.

With a combined capacity of 17 MW DC, these five farms will generate green, renewable energy sufficient to provide electricity to 2,500 homes in Massachusetts annually.

"Eastern Bank is enormously proud of this achievement," said Bob Rivers, Eastern Bank President and Chief Operating Officer. "These financings are another example of Eastern Bank’s commitment to sustainability, which include robust recycling efforts, our purchase of renewable energy certificates, providing eStatements for customers and much more."

The financing was provided to three firms:

  • • Mark Investment, Inc., of Newton, Mass., which is working on two solar farm projects in Andover, Mass. and Fall River, Mass.;
  • • Kearsarge Energy LP, of Watertown, Mass., which is working on one project in Hubbardston, Mass.;
  • • NuGen Capital Management, LLC, of Rhode Island, which is working on one project in Massachusetts and one in New Jersey.

"Solar development is a challenging business in a highly regulated environment," said Andrew J. Bernstein, Managing Partner, Kearsarge Energy LP. "Our constituents include state and federal agencies, the physical neighbors to our farm, the municipalities, the utility companies, electrical contractors and manufacturers, and the users of electricity. Our bankers at Eastern worked with us to solve unique challenges in an exciting but evolving business."

"Under Governor Patrick, solar power has been installed in nearly every Massachusetts city and town, largely due to smart, effective financing and incentives," said Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "Our clean energy revolution is tapping local renewable energy sources, adding jobs, creating savings, and helping preserve our environment."

"It is core to Eastern’s business to do well financially by ‘doing good’ socially wherever we can," said Stephen Pratt-Otto, Senior Vice President, Community Development Lending, Eastern Bank. "We are enormously proud of the solar developers who are pioneering this industry. The commitment of the Patrick Administration to renewable energy has been unwavering and the Department of Energy Resources has responded to challenges as they have arisen. As a result, private lenders and investors have confidence that there will be a robust market with reliable public support."

Eastern Bank, which has more LEED certified branches (four) than any other retail bank in Massachusetts, recently signed Ceres’ BICEP Climate Declaration, a statement that called on U.S. policymakers to capture the American economic opportunities of addressing climate change.

Eastern Bank’s other recent environmental achievements include:

  • • In April 2013, Eastern Bank was certified as a Sustainable Business Leader, a program of the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts;
  • • In May 2012, the Environmental League of Massachusetts bestowed its Green Star Award to Eastern Bank;
  • • In March 2012, Eastern Bank began purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) for 90 branches and five corporate buildings.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England, with $8 billion in assets and more than 90 branches serving communities from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod. Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way. Eastern Bank includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance. For more information, visit www.easternbank.com, www.facebook.com/easternbank and www.twitter.com/easternbank.

For more information, contact: Andrew Ravens, Public Relations, Eastern Bank, 781-598-8528, or e-mail Andrew Ravens.