MMA Renewable Ventures, LLC, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage + Equity, LLC today announced that it closed 2007 with approximately 34 megawatts (MW) of solar under operation and development, including more than 20 MW of new renewable energy generation last year alone, an increase of more than five times its 2006 portfolio. In total, MMA Renewable Ventures brought projects into operation at 18 sites across the U.S. in 2007, among them, North America's largest solar photovoltaic system at Nellis Air Force Base (14MW). The successful growth solidifies MMA Renewable Ventures' position as one of North America's largest solar power purchase agreement (PPA) providers. The company's expanding project pipeline also includes over $100 million in energy efficiency projects and 100 MW in additional renewable energy sources including wind and bioenergy.
"We saw a robust increase in demand for solar PPAs during 2007, growth that we have already seen persisting through the first part of 2008 as energy customers across the country continue to look for easy, cost-effective ways to take advantage of clean, predictable energy from the sun," said Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures. "In total, these systems will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by more than 63 million pounds each year."
Through the PPA model it helped pioneer, MMA Renewable Ventures makes solar energy cost-competitive by financing, owning and operating the installations on behalf of its customers and investors. In turn, the energy customer simply purchases the power generated under a long-term contract, benefiting from predictable electricity pricing and a solar energy system that is cash flow positive from its first day of operation. MMA Renewable Ventures arranges for third party institutional investment in its solar projects. The company typically structures financing by aggregating a number of its high- quality solar projects into low risk debt and tax-advantaged institutional investor funds, which enable multiple investors to participate while at the same time diversifying their risk.
"In addition to sound state policies that promote solar energy, innovations in clean energy project finance have helped open the doors for unprecedented U.S. solar market expansion in this past year. With MMA Renewable Ventures helping to lead the way, the PPA model has emerged as one of the most effective mechanisms for making solar cost-effective for commercial and large-scale energy customers," said Sara Birmingham, Director of Western Policy for The Solar Alliance.
"MMA Renewable Ventures consistently delivers on its promise of providing competitively priced clean energy for its customers and exceptional investment opportunities in solar energy," said Michael L. Falcone, CEO of MuniMae. "We are proud to count MMA Renewable Ventures' growing project portfolio among the high-quality investment opportunities that MuniMae offers its institutional investors."
In 2007 MMA Renewable Ventures delivered customized solar PPAs to commercial, utility, and public energy customers nationwide. In addition to the landmark PV system at Nellis Air Force Base, the company's operational portfolio for the year includes commercial-scale installations at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Estee Lauder as well as east and west coast locations for Roche Pharmaceuticals. Municipal customers include AC Transit, and the City of Thousand Oaks. MMA Renewable Ventures also added a number of academic institutions to its portfolio, including: CSU Fresno, Sussex County Community College in Newton, New Jersey and the Happy Valley Elementary School District in Anderson, California.