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Operational Demonstration Program

Savings Category 
Heat Pumps
Fuel Cells
Solar Water Heat
Maximum Rebate 


Program Info
Funding Source 


Start Date 


Program Type 
Industry Recruitment/Support
Rebate Amount 

$150,000 - $500,000

Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority

This program is currently closed. Applications were due in February 2012. Additional funding rounds have not yet been announced. Check the program web site for the latest available information.

The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), formerly the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), created the Operational Demonstration (Op Demo) Program in August 2005 to enable early-stage companies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their own near-commercial, clean-energy technologies.

The program supports proposals for demonstration projects that have a high likelihood of developing into a commercial product within a reasonable period of time -- generally, five years for fuel cells and three years for most other clean-energy technologies. Eligible resources include solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave or tidal, run-of-the-river hydro, fuel cells, hydrogen generation and storage technologies, landfill gas, low-emission advanced biomass-conversion technologies, and usable electricity from combined heat and power (CHP) systems with waste-heat recovery systems. Additionally, the CEFIA's authorizing statute includes a provision allowing the fund to support "other energy resources and emerging technologies which do not involve the combustion of coal, petroleum or petroleum products, municipal solid waste or nuclear fission."

Funding for the Operational Demonstration Program will be provided in the form of an unsecured loan, with repayment contingent upon the product achieving "commercial success." The CEFIA will also collect an additional percentage of product revenues for products that exceed a higher revenue threshold. The fund requires a front-loaded one-third cash cost-share for any funding provided. Connecticut companies may contribute 40% of the funding match through in-kind contributions, while out-of-state companies must contribute the entire funding match as a cash contribution. The maximum amount of funding for each individual award is $500,000.

Applicants must be entrepreneurs, developers or integrators of the technology they hope to commercialize, and must have a demonstrated long-term interest in commercializing the technology. The applicant must be a company in Connecticut or meet the test of having or intent to have a "significant Connecticut presence." The CEFIA accepts applications twice a year, and evaluates project proposals based on technology viability, business plan strength, short-term and long-term market opportunities, and other criteria. Applicants must demonstrate benefits to the state of Connecticut as well.

''The CCEF was created in April 1998 as part of legislation deregulating the state's electric-utility industry. In 2011, the CCEF became the Clean Energy Finance Investment Authority (CEFIA). CEFIA seeks to accelerate Connecticut’s technology economy by investing to develop clean-energy technologies, supporting the creation of clean-energy supply and educating Connecticut’s residents about the importance of clean energy to the state's energy future. The CEFIA is financed by a surcharge on ratepayers' electric bills, and is managed and administered by Connecticut Innovations. The Operational Demonstration Program provided a total of $4 million in funding for projects installed in Connecticut from inception through January 2010. The current program budget is another $4 million through June 2012.''