MMA Renewable Ventures and SolarCity Partner to Generate Clean Energy at Montna Farms Rice Dryer
SAN FRANCISCO and YUBA CITY, FEB. 9, 2009 - Today Montna Farms, SolarCity Corp., and MMA Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC:MMAB.PK), announced the completion of a 394 kilowatt (kW) solar power system installed at the company's farm in Yuba City. Montna Farms is hosting the solar array to offset energy usage, reduce costs and further its commitment to sustainable farming. Covering 92,000 square feet of unused land at its rice dryer facility, the solar array will generate 725,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, providing 65 percent of the farm's energy needs.
"With over one hundred years of farming experience, Montna Farms has a history of practicing responsible stewardship of our resources to ensure sustainability. We've been very conscientious about protecting wetlands, waterways, wildlife and habitat. We're delighted to be harnessing the sun to power our rice drying operation, which relies on running large air blowers," said Montna Farms Owner Alfred G. Montna.
"We're very pleased that Montna Farms worked with us to deploy solar power, providing an ideal venue for this solar array," said MMA Renewable Ventures CEO Matt Cheney. "Integrating solar power into the energy mix helps lower costs, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources. Companies such as Montna Farms are leading the way in the agricultural sector —especially in California's key growing regions— by hosting clean, reliable solar power systems."
MMA Renewable Ventures, which owns and operates the solar power system, worked with Montna Farms, Siemens Building Technologies and SolarCity to develop this project. By leveraging federal tax credits and other state incentives, MMA Renewable Ventures enabled Montna Farms to deploy the 394 kW solar array under a long-term electricity contract or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). "By securing power through a power purchase agreement rather than a major capital investment, Montna Farms benefits from a renewable energy system that is cost-effective on its first day of operation — and for years to come," added Cheney.
Designed and installed by SolarCity, Montna's system features 1,970 BP Solar photovoltaic modules and uses a Wattsun single-axis tracking system made by Array Technologies that follows the sun during the day for greater efficiency — maximizing energy production.
"Montna Farms has a unique understanding of the importance of protecting the natural environment that also sustains its business," said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's chief executive officer. "Along with MMA Renewable Ventures, we're trying to do our part by making clean power more affordable, so that it can be not only the right environmental decision, but the right economic decision as well."
"More farms are embracing solar, and not only for the cost savings," noted Cheney. "Many agricultural businesses are eager to reduce the emissions generated by non-renewable energy sources. The solar array at Montna Farms is generating clean power, improving air quality, and helping to offset 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, which would have otherwise been emitted into the environment."
About Montna Farms
The Montna family established an agriculture presence in California in the late 1800s, growing various crops such as peaches, prunes, wheat, and walnuts. Today, Montna Farms is one of the largest suppliers of super premium short grain rice in the United States, with 2,500 acres of specialty short grain rice under production annually.
About MMA Renewable Ventures
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC: MMAB.PK), MMA Renewable Ventures is a provider of renewable energy to businesses, utilities and government. The company develops, finances, owns and operates solar, wind, biomass and energy efficiency projects that provide clean power to customers without capital investment or maintenance 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. Our team of engineers, financiers and projects managers is passionate about building a sustainable future. For more information, visit www.mmarenewableventures.com