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Belmar Unveils One of the Largest Solar Parking Structures in the Western United States

Lakewood, Colo., Oct. 22, 2008
Source: PRNewswire

Continuum Lakewood Development Company, in association with MMA Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (Pink Sheets: MMAB), Oak Leaf Energy Partners and SunPower Corporation , is dedicating today a 1.75-megawatt solar power system that has been constructed on three parking garages at the Belmar mixed-use development in Lakewood, Colo. It is one of the largest solar parking structures in the Western U.S.

“This solar project delivers on the Colorado promise of the ‘New Energy Economy,’ which is establishing Colorado as a leader in renewable energy and creating jobs throughout the state,” said Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. “I congratulate Continuum for its leadership and call upon developers and business owners throughout the nation to follow the example we’ve set here in Lakewood.”

Gov. Ritter, as well as U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy and other regional dignitaries, will attend the dedication ceremony today.

MMA Renewable Ventures, which owns and operates the 1.75-megawatt system, joined with Continuum Partners and SunPower to develop an innovative partnership, leveraging tax credits and incentives to finance this landmark solar power system. The partnership enabled the City of Lakewood and Belmar to deploy the solar parking structure under a long-term electricity power contract, or power purchase agreement (PPA). The electricity is competitively priced against retail rates, providing Belmar with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.

The Belmar solar parking structure was designed and installed by SunPower, using more than 8,000 SunPower solar panels, which are the highest efficiency panels on the market today. The solar parking structure supports Colorado’s commitment to environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere by almost 4 million pounds each year.

“Our decision to partner with Oak Leaf Energy Partners, MMA Renewable Ventures and SunPower was a key factor to the success of this project,” said Mark Falcone, Continuum managing partner. “For a project of this scope and complexity, we have been well served by teaming up with the largest and most experienced partners in the sector.”

The Belmar solar project is part of the Xcel Energy 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.

About Continuum Partners, LLC
Continuum Partners is a Denver based real estate development company born from the belief that there is a connection between long-term, sustained property value and high-quality urban design. Continuum combines an experienced real estate development team with a solid base of capital resources to develop projects that demonstrate the principles of smart-growth. Continuum Partners, LLC metro-Denver projects include: Bradburn, Belmar, Art House Townhomes, Belleview Station and Union Station.

About Belmar
Belmar, located 10 minutes from downtown Denver at South Wadsworth Boulevard and West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, Colo., is a walk-able community that includes 70 shops and 14 restaurants, entertainment, cultural activities, homes, offices and ample free parking.