Solar project planned at Denver International Airport
MMA Renewable Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (“MuniMae,” NYSE: MMA) and WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp. (OTC BB: WWAT.OB), formerly WorldWater & Power Corp., announced plans on Oct. 1, 2007 to construct a two-megawatt (MW) solar energy system at Denver International Airport (DIA). Upon its completion in 2008, the photovoltaic system is expected to generate 3.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean electricity annually at DIA and support Denver’s commitment to environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere by more than five million pounds each year.
Designed and installed by WorldWater & Solar Technologies, the new ground mounted tracking solar array system will be located at the entrance to DIA’s main terminal. The system will be financed by MMA Renewable Ventures, which will own and operate the system and sell predictably priced power to DIA under a long-term contract or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
“By purchasing clean power rather than solar panels, DIA will benefit from a renewable energy system that is cost-effective from the day it becomes operational and for years to come,” said Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures. “Our collaborative effort with DIA serves as an example of how successful public-private partnership can help municipal facilities make the most of the tax credits and other incentives available for solar energy.”
The project is part of Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards program and will receive a rebate to offset the upfront construction costs. Xcel Energy will purchase the renewable energy credits from the clean electricity produced in support of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires large utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Operated by the City and County of Denver, DIA is the fifth busiest international airport in the United States having served nearly 50 million passengers in 2006.
"Denver International Airport is a leader in sustainability as the only airport to be accepted into the Environmental Protection Agency's National Performance Track Program," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "Thanks to MMA Renewable Ventures and WorldWater & Solar Technologies, DIA will soon have one of the country's largest airport solar systems, marking the first of many alternative energy innovations expected under Greenprint Denver, our action agenda for sustainable practices. DIA is a shining example of how we can embrace sustainable development as an operating principle while maintaining a successful, profitable business, breaking records for passenger traffic and earning high customer satisfaction ratings."
“DIA has a long-standing commitment to sustainable operations and environmental protection. This solar energy system will provide cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city and county of Denver and serve as a highly visible environmental statement to the millions of passengers that travel through our airport each month,” said Turner West, aviation manager for Denver International Airport.
Quentin T. Kelly, chairman and CEO of WorldWater commented, “We are delighted that such a major metropolitan airport as Denver International has embarked on a solar energy system that is as impressive in size and scope at this 2-Megawatt installation and we are looking forward to helping Denver achieve that worthy target. Two months ago we contracted with the Fresno Yosemite International Airport to build another major solar system. Our expertise in solar energy generation and integrated systems design makes us well suited to address the complex power needs of a major transportation hub like Denver International, significantly reducing electric costs and helping improve air quality at the airport.”
With the City of Denver, Xcel Energy will develop an educational display for DIA’s main terminal to explain the benefits of solar energy.
“This project is right in line with the clean energy future we envision at Xcel Energy,” said Dick Kelly, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We were pleased to be able to bring together the City of Denver with its renewable energy development partners, to help Denver and Colorado meet the ambitious goals its leaders have set with the Renewable Energy Standard and Greenprint Denver. We are proud to be part of the effort.”