All amounts are in thousands of Canadian dollars, unless otherwise indicated and are for continuing operations unless otherwise indicated
LONGUEUIL, Quebec, November 10, 2020 – Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (TSX: INE) (“Innergex” or the “Corporation”) today released its operating and financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.
“We are very excited to announce the beginning of construction activities at the Griffin Trail wind project in Texas. This significant project along with the large Hillcrest solar project in Ohio, the Innavik hydro project in the Nunavik and the extension of the Yonne wind farm in France are all progressing very well despite the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michel Letellier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innergex. “We strongly believe in our strategy to couple development activities with strategic acquisitions to not only create additional value but also to meet our growth objectives.”
Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin, Production Proportionate, Revenues Proportionate, Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate Margin, Free Cash Flow and Payout ratio are not recognized measures under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to those presented by other issuers. Please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section for more information.
Innergex benefits from geographic diversification and the complementarity of hydroelectric, wind and solar power generation.
In the third quarter of 2020, Production Proportionate was 93% of the LTA and up 15% over the same period last year. Revenues Proportionate increased 14% compared to last year despite the curtailment imposed by BC Hydro to six hydro facilities. This increase was mainly due to the Mountain Air Acquisition completed in July 2020, the Salvador Acquisition completed in May 2020, the higher contribution from the Foard City wind farm and the Phoebe solar facility commissioned in late 2019 and higher proportional PTCs generated in the U.S. Adjusted EBITDA was stable compared to the same period last year at $108.5 million and the Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate increased by 6% at $151.4 million.
The hydroelectric power generation segment generated $88.2 million in Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, representing a 3% decrease from the $91.0 million generated in the same period last year. Despite the curtailment imposed by BC Hydro, Revenues Proportionate for the segment were stable at $106.7 million. Production Proportionate was 89% of the LTA.
The wind power generation segment posted $64.7 million in Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, representing a 33% increase over the $48.6 million generated in the same period last year. Revenues Proportionate for the segment increased by 33% to $87.9 million. This increase is mainly attributable to the commissioning of the Foard City facility in September 2019, the acquisition of Mountain Air and to higher production from the joint venture facilities in the U.S. Production Proportionate was 99% of the LTA.
The solar power generation segment generated $14.3 million in Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, representing a 5% increase from the $13.6 million posted in the same period last year due mainly to the contribution of the Phoebe solar facility commissioned in November 2019. Revenues Proportionate for the segment increased by 36% to $19.2 million. Production Proportionate was 92% of the LTA.
General and administrative expenses and Prospective project expenses increased by $6.0 million in the quarter to support the Corporation’s growth.
Innergex’s financial position remains strong and has no material debt maturities prior to 2023. The focus continues to be on developing, acquiring and operating renewable energy facilities that generate sustainable cash flows and provide an attractive risk-adjusted return on invested capital.
The following table summarizes elements to add or subtract to derive a normalized Free Cash Flow and Payout Ratio:
The Corporation considers the $95.6 million Free Cash Flow not to represent the current cash-generating capacity of its operations.
The above table normalizes the Free Cash Flow and Payout Ratio for an unfavourable impact on the Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate stemming from the BC Hydro imposed curtailment during 2020 and an increase in quarterly dividends mainly related to the issuance of 34,636,823 common shares following the Hydro-Québec Private Placement, while a large portion of the funds have yet to be invested in cash-generating projects, or have been used toward recent acquisitions whose contributions to the Corporation’s Free Cash Flow have not yet fully materialized. These items were partly offset by a decrease in the corporate revolving facilities interest expense concurrent with the Hydro-Québec Private Placement.
Innergex took numerous measures to protect employees, suppliers and business partners from COVID-19.
Power production activities have continued in all segments as they have been deemed essential service in every region where we operate.
BC Hydro sent curtailment notices for some hydro facilities for the period from May 22, 2020 and to July 20, 2020. BC Hydro cites the current COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental measures taken in response to it as constituting a “force majeure” event under the electricity purchase agreements (“EPAs”), and resulting in a situation in which BC Hydro is unable to accept or purchase energy under the EPAs. Innergex disputes that the current pandemic and related governmental measures in any way prevent BC Hydro from fulfilling its obligations to accept and purchase energy under the EPAs or enable it to invoke “force majeure” provisions under the EPAs to suspend these obligations. Innergex complied with BC Hydro’s curtailment request, but did so under protest and seeks to enforce its rights under the EPAs.
Our renewable power production is sold mainly through power purchase agreements, which include sufficient protection to prevent for material reduction in demand, to solid counterparts and no credit issues are anticipated. As such, the Corporation does not intend to make any changes to its workforce and intends to maintain salaries and benefits.
For the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2020, actual eligible energy revenue that would have been produced at the facilities in the absence of the curtailments requested by BC Hydro mentioned above amounted to $3.0 million ($3.6 million on a Revenues Proportionate basis) and $13.0 million ($14.8 million on a Revenues Proportionate basis), respectively.
Direct costs related to COVID-19 measures implemented by Innergex and potential savings from reduced travel have been immaterial.
Despite additional safety measures which cause minor delays, activities at our four facilities under construction continued or resumed without interruptions in the third quarter. The recent announcement of lockdown by the French Government on October 28, 2020, could cause delays in construction activities at Yonne II due mainly to border closures.
Acquisition: On July 15, 2020, the Corporation completed the acquisition of all the Class B shares of a portfolio of six operating wind farms in Elmore County, Idaho in the United States (the “Mountain Air Acquisition”) for a purchase price of US$56.8 million (CAN$77.3 million).
The Hillcrest solar project (Ohio) is approximately 65% complete and all major equipment has been received on site. The tax equity investor made an initial investment of US$22.4 million (CAN$29.8 million), representing 20% of its total investment amount on October 29, 2020. Full commercial operation is scheduled for Q1 2021.
Powerhouse access road, powerhouse and tailrace excavation have started and are progressing well at the Innavik hydro project (Quebec). On November 4, 2020, the project closed a $92.8 million construction and long-term credit agreement. Commercial operation is scheduled in 2022.
Craning pads, storage area, access roads and all three foundations are now completed at the Yonne II wind project (France) and erection work for the three towers has begun. Commercial operation is scheduled for late Q1 2021.
Work on site commenced in September at the Griffin Trail wind project (Texas), including construction of the roads, turbine foundations and operations and maintenance building. Commercial operation is scheduled for Q3 2021.
Projects in Development: In Hawaii, both the Barbers Point and Kahana solar and battery storage projects have signed Power Purchase Agreements (“PPAs”) with the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., which are subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”). The selection process for the Engineering, procurement and construction agreement is underway for both Paeahu and Hale Kuawehi solar and battery storage projects. Paeahu‘s PPA was approved by the PUC in the quarter. In France, the preferred battery provider has been selected and exclusive negotiations are in progress for the Tonnerre stand-alone battery storage project.
The following dividends will be paid by the Corporation on January 15, 2021:
Innergex’s 2020 third quarter unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements, the notes thereto and the Management’s Discussion and Analysis can be obtained on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and in the “Investors” section of the Corporation’s website at www.innergex.com.
The Corporation will hold a conference call and webcast on Wednesday November 11, 2020, at 9 AM (EST). Investors and financial analysts are invited to access the conference by dialing 1 888 231-8191 or 647 427-7450 or via https://bit.ly/3o3XGZ9 or the Corporation’s website at www.innergex.com. Journalists as well as the public may access this conference call via a listen mode only. A replay of the conference call will be available after the event on the Corporation’s website.
For 30 years, Innergex has believed in a world where abundant renewable energy promotes healthier communities and creates shared prosperity. As an independent renewable power producer which develops, acquires, owns and operates hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, solar farms and energy storage facilities, Innergex is convinced that generating power from renewable sources will lead the way to a better world. Innergex conducts operations in Canada, the United States, France and Chile and manages a large portfolio of high-quality assets currently consisting of interests in 75 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 2,742 MW (gross 3,694 MW) and an energy storage capacity of 150 MWh, including 37 hydroelectric facilities, 32 wind farms and six solar farms. Innergex also holds interests in 10 projects under development, four of which are under construction, with a net installed capacity of 555 MW (gross 629 MW) and an energy storage capacity of 329 MWh, as well as prospective projects at different stages of development with an aggregate gross capacity totaling 6,871 MW. Its approach to building shareholder value is to generate sustainable cash flows, provide an attractive risk-adjusted return on invested capital and to distribute a stable dividend.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
To inform readers of the Corporation’s future prospects, this press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“Forward-Looking Information”), including the Corporation’s power production, prospective projects, successful development, construction and financing (including tax equity funding) of the projects under construction and the advanced-stage prospective projects, sources and impact of funding, project acquisitions, execution of non-recourse project-level financing (including the timing and amount thereof), and strategic, operational and financial benefits and accretion expected to result from such acquisitions, business strategy, future development and growth prospects (including expected growth opportunities under the Strategic Alliance with Hydro-Québec), business integration, governance, business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities, and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-Looking Information can generally be identified by the use of words such as “approximately”, “may”, “will”, “could”, “believes”, “expects”, “intends”, “should”, “would”, “plans”, “potential”, “project”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “scheduled” or “forecasts”, or other comparable terms that state that certain events will or will not occur. It represents the projections and expectations of the Corporation relating to future events or results as of the date of this press release.
Forward-Looking Information includes future-oriented financial information or financial outlook within the meaning of securities laws, including information regarding the Corporation’s expected production, the estimated project costs, projected revenues, projected Adjusted EBITDA and projected Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, Projected Free Cash Flow and intention to pay dividend quarterly, the estimated project size, costs and schedule, including obtainment of permits, start of construction, work conducted and start of commercial operation for Development Projects and Prospective Projects, the Corporation’s intent to submit projects under Requests for Proposals, the qualification of U.S. projects for PTCs and ITCs and other statements that are not historical facts. Such information is intended to inform readers of the potential financial impact of expected results, of the expected commissioning of Development Projects, of the potential financial impact of completed and future acquisitions and of the Corporation’s ability to sustain current dividends and to fund its growth. Such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
Forward-looking Information is based on certain key assumptions made by Innergex, including, without restrictions, assumptions concerning project performance, economic, financial and financial market conditions, expectations and assumptions concerning availability of capital resources and timely performance by third-parties of contractual obligations, receipt of regulatory approvals and the divestiture of select assets. Although Innergex believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, under the current circumstances, readers are cautioned not to rely unduly on this forward-looking information as no assurance can be given that they will prove to be correct. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof and Innergex does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof, unless so required by law.
For more information on the risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed, implied or presented by the forward-looking information or on the principal assumptions used to derive this information, please refer to the “Forward-Looking Information” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2020.
The unaudited consolidated financial statements for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2020, have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). However, some measures referred to in this press release are not recognized measures under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to those presented by other issuers. Innergex believes that these indicators are important, as they provide management and the reader with additional information about the Corporation’s production and cash generation capabilities, its ability to sustain current dividends and dividend increases and its ability to fund its growth. These indicators also facilitate the comparison of results over different periods. Innergex’s share of Revenues of joint ventures and associates, Revenues Proportionate, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin, Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate, Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate Margin, Innergex’s share of Adjusted EBITDA of joint ventures and associates, Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Free Cash Flow, Adjusted Free Cash Flow, Payout Ratio and Adjusted Payout Ratio are not measures recognized by IFRS and have no standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2020.