Solar Trust of America Expands into Photovoltaic Market; Joint Venture with SolarHybrid AG Will Create a Leader in Solar Photovoltaic Sector

CLEVELAND & HAMBURG, Germany--()--Solar Trust of America, an integrated solar energy solutions company and developer of the Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar plant in the world, today announced it signed a letter of intent with SolarHybrid AG, a leading photovoltaic (PV) developer with over 220 megawatts (MW) of projects in operation and under development in Europe, to form a joint venture upon finalization of negotiations to be called SolarHybrid of America, LLC. The new company will develop, build and manage utility-scale solar projects in North America.

“From the outset, our plan has been to bring utility-scale solar power to the growing U.S. market as a vertically integrated engineering, construction, and services provider that is technology agnostic,” said Uwe T. Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Solar Trust of America. “With over 2,000 MW of permitted sites in the pipeline, Solar Trust of America is delighted to partner with SolarHybrid AG to accelerate our expansion into the PV marketplace.”

Today’s announcement comes weeks after the Department of Energy announced a conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee to support the construction of the first phase of the 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project in Riverside County, California, utilizing concentrating solar power technology (CSP). Solar Trust of America has an additional 1,000 MW of project sites in advanced stages of permitting in California and Nevada.

Tom Schroeder, CEO of SolarHybrid AG said, “Under Uwe T. Schmidt’s leadership, Solar Trust of America has made huge strides in securing permits and financing for large-scale solar in the U.S. The Blythe project is the world’s most important attempt to harness the power of the sun for mankind’s energy needs. We intend to combine Solar Trust of America‘s strengths with SolarHybrid‘s experience in designing, constructing and financing large-scale PV plants."

SolarHybrid AG is active in Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Middle East and South Africa. By the end of 2011, the company will have built over 220MWp of PV power plants, making it one of the world’s leading companies in its field.

“With permitted sites, access to transmission, and technology options, Solar Trust of America is positioned to emerge as the leader in the North American solar market,” continued Mr. Schmidt. “Tom Schroeder and the SolarHybrid team share our passion and entrepreneurial spirit, making them the ideal partners in our quest to win the global ‘solar race.’”

The new company will develop stand-alone PV sites, as well as projects with CSP and PV in the same location. “Developing CSP and PV in tandem will allow us to achieve better cost and production efficiencies than with either technology on its own," concluded Mr. Schmidt.

Under the terms of the letter of intent the new company, SolarHybrid of America, will operate out of Solar Trust’s Oakland office. Additional terms of the joint venture were not disclosed.

About Solar Trust of America

Solar Trust of America is an integrated solar industrial solutions company with several utility-scale solar energy projects under development throughout the American Southwest. In April 2011, the Department of Energy announced conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee for the construction of the first phase of the 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project, the largest solar project in the world. The company has 1,000 MW of additional solar power projects in advanced stages of development in California and Nevada. As a fully integrated company, Solar Trust of America works across the entire solar value chain, including project design, financing, procurement, construction, operation, and management. Solar Trust of America and its subsidiaries currently employ over 75 professionals. For more information visit www.SolarTrustofAmerica.com.

About SolarHybrid AG

SolarHybrid AG is a leading provider of integrated technical and financial solutions for large photovoltaic power plants. SolarHybrid plans and builds large-scale turnkey PV power plants, and will have over 220 MWp in operation in 2011. Project financing is carried out by SolarHybrid Capital Management GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary. SolarHybrid also provides operations and maintenance services after plant construction. The company’s long list of completed projects demonstrates its competence in technical, organizational and financial project management. SolarHybrid has offices throughout Germany, Italy and Bahrain, and its shares are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Recently the company expanded its activities to the United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi and South Africa where it is participating in projects with several hundred MW capacity. For more information please visit www.SolarHybrid.ag.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding Solar Trust of America, LLC, its shareholders and subsidiaries (including but not limited to Solar Millennium, LLC) (collectively referred to as the “Company”), related to plans, estimates, assumptions, expectations or projections about the future other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the design, construction, capacity or operation of the planned Blythe Solar Power Project, other planned solar power plants, expected actions of the U.S. Department of Energy or other regulatory authorities, as well as statements about the Company’s financing, construction, strategies, objectives, goals, targets, outlook, technologies, and business and financial prospects. These statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those set forth in this press release. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any subsequent date, and the Company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Information set forth in this press release pertaining to third parties has not been independently verified by the Company and is based solely on publicly available information or on information provided to the Company by such third parties for inclusion in this press release.

Contacts

For further information and interview requests:
Solar Trust of America, LLC
Bill Keegan, 312.927.8424
Director of Corporate Communications
press@SolarTrustofAmerica.com

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Contacts

For further information and interview requests:
Solar Trust of America, LLC
Bill Keegan, 312.927.8424
Director of Corporate Communications
press@SolarTrustofAmerica.com