MMA Renewable Ventures, employer of one of our Bloggers, announced earlier this morning that it has fully deployed it’s Solar Fund III, contributing nearly $200 million to the creation of new solar energy.
Knowing the team there fairly well, the news doesn’t surprise me given how capable their well respected engineers and development associates are. What will be more interesting is how quickly, in this current climate, they can raise new funds to take advantage of depressed module prices and further establish themselves as one of the 900 pound gorillas in the world of Solar and Renewable Finance.
Solar Fund III included a tax equity investment from Wells Fargo that enabled MMA Renewable Ventures to finance solar energy projects nationwide. Most of the construction debt, permanent debt, and rebate financing for the Solar Fund III projects was provided by the National Consumer Cooperative Bank (“NCB”). MMA closed 2008 with approximately 40 MW in total of solar projects under its management and operation, an increase of 75 percent from its 2007 portfolio. Like many PPA shops, they struggled to capitalize on widespread interest in solar because of the trough economic scenario which was further hampered by the slow extension of the ITC; which could have stimulated projects and fund raising before the credit crisis began to take a hard turn for the worse.
For the sake of the solar industry in the US, I hope that they pull together their next fund and get a new wave of projects in the ground.