Covering 30,000 square feet atop the Colorado Convention Center, the 300-kilowatt system is a product of a landmark public-private partnership fostered by City managers and leaders in local renewable energy.
"We are proud to have such a large and prominently placed solar power system at the Colorado Convention Center," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "This is both a practical example and a symbol of the City's commitment to renewable energy."
“This major solar project in the heart of Denver is another great example of how the New Energy Economy is leading Colorado forward. Such a large and prominently placed solar system means immediate and significant cost and energy savings for one of Colorado’s most visited, busiest and high-profile facilities," said Governor Bill Ritter.
Owned and operated by Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas, the 2.2 million-square-foot Colorado Convention Center is recognized as a leader in green venue management. Through a partnership with Greenprint Denver, MMA Renewable Ventures, Oak Leaf Energy Partners, Namasté Solar, SunPower Corp. and Xcel Energy, Theatres and Arenas was able to provide a site for the new solar power system without making a major capital investment. MMA Renewable Ventures financed, owns and operates the system and, together with Oak Leaf Energy Partners, developed a unique financing mechanism that leverages tax credits and incentives through a long-term contract known as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Designed and installed by Namasté Solar, Colorado’s leading solar electric company, the solar array features 1,310 high-efficiency solar panels and state-of-the-art technology manufactured by SunPower Corp. to maximize solar electrical generation.
The Colorado Convention Center doubled in size at the completion of a $310 million expansion in 2004. Now the eighth-largest public meeting facility west of the Mississippi, the venue began implementing sustainable practices following the expansion and now boasts a range of environmentally-friendly policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency, conserving water, reducing waste and assisting meeting and event planners with hosting carbon-neutral gathering. Colorado Meetings and Events magazine recently honored the venue with a Reader's Choice Best-Of Award for "Green Meeting Facility."
Number of photovoltaic (PV) modules: 1,310
Solar system capacity: 300 kilowatts
Project surface area: 30,000 square feet
Annual energy output: 400,000 kilowatt hours
Power output per PV module: 230 watts
Colorado Convention Center (Site Host)
The Colorado Convention Center is owned and operated by the Division of Theatres and Arenas, a City and County of Denver agency charged with managing and maintaining the City’s cultural and public assembly facilities. Theatres and Arenas also oversees the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Denver Coliseum. For more information on the Colorado Convention Center, its sustainability efforts and “Green Meeting” program, visit www.denverconvention.com.
MMA Renewable Ventures (Owner)
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC: MMAB), MMA
Renewable Ventures is a provider of renewable energy to businesses, utilities and government. The company develops, finances, owns and operates solar 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. For more information, visit www.mmarenewableventures.com.
Oak Leaf Energy Partners (Developer)
Oak Leaf Energy Partners was founded in 2005 to provide project development and consulting services for renewable energy transactions. The company helps property owners deploy solar and other renewable energy derived power across their portfolio of buildings and properties. Oak Leaf Energy Partners (OEP) provides full turnkey development solutions, including feasibility studies, site planning and interconnection analysis, tax and financial structuring and negotiating financing and EPC contracts. Since its founding, the company has emerged as one of the largest and most active solar energy developers in the Rocky Mountain West, with a growing regional and international footprint and pipeline.
Namasté Solar (Installer)
Namasté Solar propagates the responsible use of solar energy, pioneers conscientious business practices, and creates holistic wealth for ourselves and our community. It is dedicated to bringing clean, reliable, and affordable renewable energy technologies to homes, businesses, and nonprofits in Colorado. As the leading solar company in Colorado with more in-state installations than any other company, Namasté Solar has installed more than 650 PV systems, totaling over 3.5 MW, since 2005. Its unique business model includes employee ownership, democratic decision-making, community collaboration, an innovative solar grant program, zero-waste initiatives, educational outreach and holistic profit measurement. Visit www.namastesolar.com.
SunPower Corp. (Panel and System Manufacturer)
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) 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, California, SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
Greenprint Denver (City and County of Denver’s Sustainable Development Initiative)
Greenprint Denver develops and implements sustainable solutions and services to make Denver a better place to live, work and play. An initiative launched by Mayor John Hickenlooper in 2005, Greenprint Denver strives to showcase Denver’s national leadership in resolving resource challenges that meet the needs of current Denver residents while securing the economic, social and environmental health of future generations. For more information, please visit www.greenprintdenver.org.
Xcel Energy (Utility)
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.