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Globe 100 | True Green

Lower emissions, one loan at a time

(Harry Campbell for The Boston Globe)
By Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / May 18, 2010

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Want to go green? Certain local businesses can get the green they need to do so from New Generation Energy.

The Boston nonprofit offers loans of $5,000 to $100,000 to smaller companies and community organizations in New England that are looking to install electricity-generating solar panels, or to food service businesses that want to improve energy efficiency.

New Generation Energy executive director Chuck Lewin said his nonprofit makes loans based on both financial considerations and a 21-point system that measures the expected environmental benefits of a project. The nonprofit’s basic question: “How many greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by this loan?’’ New Generation already helped Boston Green Building, a contracting and design firm, put a 3.8 kilowatt solar array on top of its Allston headquarters.

The nonprofit’s funding comes from socially conscious investors looking to support wind farms, solar and biomass facilities, and energy-efficiency projects.

Lewin founded New Generation Energy after a family biking trip to Holland, where he was “stunned’’ by the huge wind turbines he saw everywhere.

“I kind of fell in love with the technology,’’ he said. “I’m a nerd at heart.’’