Landmark Solar Power Plant to be One of the Largest Photovoltaic Systems in
SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Gemini Solar Development
Company LLC announced today that it has been selected to build a 30 megawatt
(MW) photovoltaic solar power plant for Austin Energy, a municipal electric
utility in Austin, Texas.
This landmark solar power plant will be built on 300 acres of city-owned
land located approximately 25 miles east of Austin. Totaling 30MW, the solar
array will be operational by the end of 2010. When completed, the solar
generated power will eliminate approximately 30,000 tons of CO2 per year and
provide enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.
"Austin Energy's leadership in renewable energy is a great example for
utilities across the country," said Kristina Peterson, President of Gemini
Solar. "Gemini is proud to have been selected for this showcase project. This
reflects Austin Energy's strong commitment to the increasing adoption of
renewable energy and is a great step forward for Texas, a global energy
industry leader. Solar is the new cost-effective energy source," Peterson
added. "We hope state policy makers build on Austin Energy's decision and
bring new jobs and clean energy to Texas with long-term, supportive incentive
Gemini Solar is a joint venture between Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
(NYSE: STP), the world's largest manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules,
and financier and developer MMA Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Municipal
Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC: MMAB.PK). Gemini Solar was formed in October 2008
to develop and finance photovoltaic projects of 10 megawatts and larger.
Gemini Solar will own and operate the solar power plant and sell the
electricity to Austin Energy under a 25-year non-escalating power purchase
agreement. Suntech's solar panels will be installed in the 30MW power plant.
"By partnering with Gemini on this landmark project, Austin Energy is
demonstrating true vision when it comes to environmental sustainability," said
Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures. "Through a long term power
purchase agreement (PPA), Austin Energy will be able to deploy solar without
upfront installation cost or ongoing maintenance expenses. Customers will
benefit from lower utility costs over the long term, as well as a cleaner
Steven Chan, Suntech's Chief Strategy Officer and President of Global
Sales and Marketing, said, "Suntech has invested in developing a multi-pronged
capability in the U.S. so that we can provide customers with the full range of
solar solutions from the module to the solar system, to selling energy. This
Gemini Solar project with Austin Energy is a major step forward in our efforts
to bring cost-effective, utility-scale solar solutions to the U.S."
In 2003, the Austin City Council adopted a strategic energy policy, which
calls for the development and use of clean energy by Austin Energy. A key
component of this energy policy is the commitment towards the development of
solar energy with goals of 30 MW by 2010 and 100 MW by 2020. In 2007, the
Austin City Council launched the Climate Protection Plan initiative which
calls for Austin Energy to develop more aggressive energy conservation and
establishes a goal that 30% of its energy be from renewable energy resources
by 2020. This solar project will make a major contribution toward these
"Suntech solar panels have an extensive track record in utility scale
solar projects globally and we are looking forward to putting our reliable and
high performance solar panels to work in Austin," added Mr. Chan.
MMA Renewable Ventures has financed, developed, owns and operates more
than 40MW of solar projects in the U.S., including the 14MW solar power system
at Nellis Air Force Base.
About Gemini Solar
Gemini Solar Development Company LLC ( http://www.geminisolar.com )
combines the forces of two of the most accomplished renewable energy companies,
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., and MMA Renewable Ventures. An international
innovator known for high quality manufacturing, Suntech focuses on quality,
scale and cost efficiencies. MMA Renewable Ventures provides structured
finance expertise and a track record in developing and delivering quality
renewable energy projects, including many of the largest in the U.S. Gemini
Solar Development enables investors to participate in high quality, reliable
solar power projects, while helping utilities meet their RPS (renewable
portfolio standard) requirements. 'Gemini' refers to the fact that the two
firms share a common vision about how the U.S. solar market will develop and
grow. Gemini Solar advances large-scale solar energy deployments to help
address the critical need for renewable power in the United States.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements which can be
identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future,"
"intends," "plans," "believes," estimates" and similar statements. Such
statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements. The
Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking
statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For more information, please contact:
MMA Renewable Ventures
Investor Relations Director
Suntech Power Holdings, Co. Ltd.
In the United States:
Sanjay M. Hurry
The Piacente Group, Inc.