Innergex achieves financial close of its 225 MW Griffin Trail wind project in Texas
LONGUEUIL, Quebec, December 29, 2020 – Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (TSX: INE) (“Innergex”) is proud to announce the closing of a construction financing and tax equity commitment for its Griffin Trail project, a 225 MW wind facility located in Knox and Baylor Counties, in north-west Texas. The US$276.2 million (CAN$354.5 million) financing has been arranged with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation acting as Coordinating Lead Arranger, and CIBC acting as Joint Lead Arranger, backed by a US$171.4 million (CAN$220.0 million) tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo to be provided upon the commercial operation date.
“It was only a few months ago, when the U.S. Production Tax Credits deadlines were extended, that we knew we were in a strong position to bring Griffin Trail forward, and we have since made rapid progress on development and construction,” said Michel Letellier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innergex. “Securing construction financing and tax equity commitment for this project is another milestone, and I want to congratulate all Innergex employees who contributed to this significant team effort.”
Work on-site commenced in September and is progressing well with the operations and maintenance building and road construction well underway, and approximately 50% of foundations complete. A construction agreement was executed with Blattner Energy, Inc. and a Turbine Supply Agreement was executed for the supply of GE wind turbines totaling 225 MW with deliveries starting in January 2021. Deliveries of long-lead items have started and the construction of the interconnection point is underway by a local transmission provider.
Total construction costs of the Griffin Trail project are projected to amount to US$284.7 million (CAN$365.4 million) and its commissioning is scheduled in Q3 2021. The power generated will be fed into the ERCOT transmission grid and sold on the spot market.
The project is expected to produce a gross estimated long-term average of 819.0 GWh per year, enough to power approximately 57,000 Texan households with clean energy, and to benefit from 100% of the US Production Tax Credits (“PTCs”), representing US$0.025 (CAN$0.032), indexed to inflation, per KWh of electricity produced for the first 10 years of operations, which is comparable to power purchase agreements with similar tenors from government backed utilities in Canada. Griffin Trail should generate a projected Adjusted EBITDA of US$4.5 million (CAN$5.8 million) and a projected Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate with PTCs of approximately US$26.7 million (CAN$34.3 million) per year on average for the first five years of operation.
In addition, the tax equity commitment made by Wells Fargo includes a partial pay as you go (“Pay-go”) funding arrangement under which, when the actual annual MWh production exceeds a certain production threshold, the Tax Equity Investor is obligated to make a cash contribution (“Pay-go Contribution”) to the Corporation. Expected Annual Pay-go Contribution for the Griffin Trail project is $4.0 million (CAN$5.2 million). In total, the project should generate an annual contribution of US$30.7 million (CAN$39.4 million) when combining the projected Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate and the Pay-go Contribution.
About Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
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, successful development, construction and financing (including tax equity funding) of the projects under construction, impact of funding, 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, the estimated project size, costs and schedule, including start of commercial operation for Development Projects, the qualification of U.S. projects for PTCs and ITCs, Pay-go Contribution 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 2019 Annual Report.
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
Chief Financial Officer
450 928-2550, ext. 1207