Boralex's additional capacity increases sales and earnings

CANADA: Power producer Boralex recorded an increase in energy sales and earnings in the third quarter largely due to the contribution of projects installed since last August, the developer has announced.

Boralex's 24MW Mont de Bagny project (above) in northern France went online in August
Boralex's 24MW Mont de Bagny project (above) in northern France went online in August

The Canadian company’s projects produced 32%, or 605GWh, more power in the third quarter than in the same period last year, while quarterly revenue from operating projects rose 37% to C$74 million ($58.2 million).

This resulted in a 56% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to C$38 million ($29.89 million) for the quarter.

The increase in energy sales and Ebitda was due to the contribution of sites acquired or commissioned since August 2016, Boralex stated.

These sites, which included hydroelectric, thermal and solar projects as well as wind farms, represented an additional installed capacity of 308MW.

Its 24MW Mont de Bagny and 10MW Voie des Monts wind farms in France went online in August and 16MW Plateau de Savernat in June, while its 10MW Port Ryerse site in Canada had been commissioned in December.

However, Boralex made a net loss of C$17 million ($13.37 million) in the first nine months of the year, down from a C$6 million ($4.72 million) profit in the same period in 2016 but failed to reason why this was the case. 

Boralex president Patrick Lemaire said the third quarter was an opportunity for the company to work towards its target of building a 2GW portfolio by 2020. The company expects to end the calendar year with a 1.46GW portfolio, it stated.

In October, the developer announced a joint venture with UK developer Infinergy to create a 325MW pipeline of wind projects in Scotland.

Lemaire said the Infinergy joint venture "opens the doors for us to establish solid medium-term basis in Scotland, which could be a real benefit in terms of geographic diversification, given that the wind conditions are the most favourable in Europe".

In July, Boralex had announced plans for the 300MW SBx wind farm in Quebec’s southerly Capitale-Nationale region alongside Canadian gas company Gaz Metro.

Lemaire added if the project was approved by the US state of Massachusetts, it would "fill a significant portion of the company’s short-term growth objectives". In September, the US state issued a request for proposals (RFP) to source 9.45TWh of clean energy, including 4GW from New England, 1.5GW from New York, 1.4GW from offshore, and 3GW from Quebec.

At the end of July, pension fund manager La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec acquired a majority 17.3% stake in Boralex for C$287.5 million ($230 million). Lemaire said the investment would enable the company "to explore more opportunities".

Boralex expects to commission four wind farms and a fifth in Canada next year, with the five projects having a combined capacity of 104MW, the company stated. 

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