OAKLAND, Calif., Aug 02, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ --
AC Transit; SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems; and MMA Renewable Ventures, a third-party financer and operator of renewable energy generation facilities and subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity (NYSE: MMA), today dedicated AC Transit's new 621-kilowatt solar electric system. The system, located on AC Transit facilities in Hayward and Oakland, is expected to generate approximately 767,000 kilowatt hours of power each year.
Over the 30-year life of the system, AC Transit expects to save $5 million in utility costs as a result of the clean, renewable solar power that the system will generate. It will offset the production of more than 14.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions -- equivalent to planting 2,000 acres of trees or removing 1,400 cars from California's highways.
"AC Transit is committed to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and improving the quality of life for the entire region in which we operate," said AC Transit General Manager Rick Fernandez. "While installing a solar system to power our facilities makes a great deal of financial sense, it will also provide more than enough power to offset the 189,000 kilowatt hours per year required to operate AC Transit's hydrogen production facility, and help lower the overall amount of energy we use from conventional sources."
MMA Renewable Ventures will finance and own AC Transit's solar power systems under the SunPower Access(TM) program, which allows SunPower customers to purchase solar-generated electricity from a SunPower financing partner as an alternative to outright purchase of the solar power systems. AC Transit will pay MMA Renewable Ventures for the solar electricity generated over a long-term power purchase agreement. At the end of the term specified under the agreement, AC Transit will have the option to renew the agreement, transfer the equipment to a new site, or purchase the system outright from MMA Renewable Ventures.
"AC Transit selected an innovative financing structure to effectively meet its financial goals and environmental objectives," said Matt Cheney, chief executive officer of MMA Renewable Ventures. "With its forward-thinking approach and commitment to clean energy, AC Transit is demonstrating that solar power is an affordable option for public agencies concerned with reducing carbon emissions."
"AC Transit is an environmental leader that is doing its part to address our ongoing energy challenges," said Howard Wenger, SunPower vice president. "By generating solar power, AC Transit is reducing demand from the utility grid, reducing operating costs, and improving air quality for its community. This energy solution saves money while helping the environment."
A large portion of the installation cost of these solar systems was covered by a $1.9 million incentive from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, under California's Self Generation Incentive Program. Through this program, PG&E can provide almost $950 million in incentives over the next 10 years to help customers buy their own solar systems. PG&E also recently announced a $3 million greening initiative for the city of Oakland. The Greening of Oakland partnership, which combines and integrates new and already-available initiatives, will leverage PG&E's expertise in clean energy, energy efficiency and economic development for the benefit of residents and businesses in the City of Oakland.
AC Transit's new solar power system is the latest in a number of programs that the agency has initiated to promote a clean environment. Since 2000, the agency has been developing the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration project in the world, featuring zero-emission hybrid-electric, hydrogen fuel cell buses; a fleet of fuel cell passenger vehicles; on-site hydrogen production and fueling; on-site fleet maintenance; ongoing, outside evaluation; and public education and safety training. Installed exhaust after-treatment traps on AC Transit's fleet have cut particulate pollution and the agency uses ultra-low sulfur fuel, which results in a 76 percent average reduction in hydrocarbon emissions while averaging a 29 percent reduction of carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions. AC Transit is the only transit agency that belongs to the California Climate Action Registry, created in 2001 by the State as a way for each industry to monitor its own greenhouse gas emissions.
About AC Transit
AC Transit is one of the largest transit agencies in California, serving over 64 million passengers a year throughout a 360-square-mile region. For nearly 45 years, AC Transit has been recognized as a national leader in the transit industry. AC Transit has captured the American Public Transportation Associations' "Best of the Best" Roadeo Award for a record six times in eight years. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EES) of Washington, D.C. named AC Transit a "National Clean Bus Leader" for its advanced environmental technology initiatives. Additional information about AC Transit's environmental programs is available at http://www.actransit.org/environment.
About MMA Renewable Ventures
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC ("MuniMae," NYSE: MMA), MMA Renewable Ventures finances, owns and operates renewable energy and energy efficiency assets in the United States. The Company provides leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and other customized financial solutions to help its customers manage energy costs. MMA Renewable Ventures is dedicated to delivering competitively priced, clean energy and energy savings to customers, strong partnership options for project developers, and exceptional opportunities for institutional investment in the clean energy sector. For more information about MMA Renewable Ventures, visit http://www.mmarenewableventures.com.
SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. SunPower high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.sunpowercorp.com. SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY).
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts. We use words such as "will," "expect," and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, the company's plans and expectations regarding the quantity of power generated by the installed solar energy system, lower conventional energy usage by AC Transit, savings on monthly electric bills, and offset production of carbon dioxide. Such statements are based on our current expectations as of the date of this press release, which could change or not materialize as expected. Our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of uncertainties and risk factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 1, 2007, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should also carefully review the reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation such Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp. Cypress is a registered trademark of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE MMA Renewable Ventures
Jaimie Levin of AC Transit, +1-510-891-7244, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Rosalind Jackson of Antenna Group, +1-415-977-1923, email@example.com, for MMA Renewable Ventures; or Ingrid Ekstrom of SunPower, +1-510-868-1368, firstname.lastname@example.org
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