Saturday, October 4, 2008

MMA Renewable Ventures, Suntech Power Holdings Form JV to Develop Photovoltaic Projects


(RTTNews) - Thursday, MMA Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC said the company and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. formed Gemini Solar Development Co., a joint venture to develop and finance photovoltaic projects 10 megawatts and larger. Separately, solar energy company Suntech Power Holdings announced two other initiatives, other than forming Gemini Solar, to significantly expand its share of the U.S. solar market.

With regard to creation of joint venture company, the projects undertaken by Gemini Solar will be co-owned and built by MMA Renewable Ventures, Suntech and their third-party finance partners. Suntech's director of structured finance, Kristina Peterson, will assume the role of Gemini's president.

Gemini Solar will supply an end-to-end solution to address the increasing demand for large-scale solar power projects as the U.S. increases its efforts towards energy independence, MMA Renewable Ventures noted.

Chief executive officer of MMA Renewable Ventures, Matt Cheney, commented, "Utility and other large-scale, distributed solar power systems are emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of the solar industry. MMA Renewable Ventures brings structured finance expertise and an unparalleled track record in developing and delivering quality renewable energy projects in the U.S. Suntech is an international innovator in solar, which brings manufacturing, large-scale module supply, advanced solar solutions and global presence to the joint venture. Together, we will enable investors to finance low risk, reliable solar power projects, while helping utilities, industry and government secure reliable, renewable energy right away."

In a separate release, Suntech Power Holdings announced two other initiatives, other than forming Gemini Solar, for the purpose of significantly expanding its share of the U.S. solar market.

One of the initiatives is acquisition of California-based commercial solar system integration company EI Solutions. Suntech expects the acquisition to enable it to provide complete solar solutions to commercial, utility and government customers in US. The new subsidiary will be named Suntech Energy Solutions and EI Solutions' present president, Andrew Beebe, will head the subsidiary.

Another initiative is to rapidly expand Suntech's U.S. dealer network to increase penetration into the residential roof-top and small commercial system solar market and build brand recognition with downstream solar integrators.

According to Suntech, all the three initiatives will enable it to serve more completely the full breadth of U.S. customers, from residential and commercial building owners to utilities and government. Consequently, the company intends to triple sales to the U.S. in 2009.

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