MMA Invests $200M In Solar Energy Production Capacity

Jan 28 2009 | 9:09am ET

Baltimore-based solar-panel developer MMA Renewable Ventures announced Tuesday it had used all of the nearly $200 million raised from its Solar Fund III to build 20.6 megawatts (MW) of new solar photovoltaic production capacity in the United States.

The company financed and completed – and now owns and operates – 20 new photovoltaic projects sited at private and public sector locations, with third-party power purchase agreements. One such project is a 2MW system at Denver International Airport. The fund included equity from Wells Fargo and loans from National Consumer Cooperative Bank.

"With the closing of Solar Fund III, we've confirmed that electricity customers in the U.S. are looking at the long term, and have identified clean, predictably-priced energy from the sun as an operational fit that makes sense," said Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures.  

According to the company, Solar Fund III saw the world's largest installation of solar panels made with copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS), a type of thin film new to the market. (Most solar panels sold today convert sunlight to electricity by means of crystalline silicon.)

MMA also completed Fund IV (used for a 14MW project at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada) and is raising Fund V. The company has most of the projects lined up and expects to have the money in place by early 2009.

"We have the curve ball of the current financial crisis that makes things more interesting, but we don't anticipate it will be more difficult [to raise the money] than in the past," Mark McLanahan, MMA senior vice president for corporate development, told Greentech Media.

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