Strategic Plan and Financial Objectives for 2023
On June 18, 2019, Boralex management announced the strategic plan that will guide us to achieve the financial objectives set for 2023. The plan:
- Builds on our solid expertise and experience in sectors with high growth potential.
- Includes complementary initiatives to diversify and optimize our operations and revenue sources.
- Sets out 4 main directions and 3 financial objectives.
- Is based on an in-depth analysis of the market and trends in the renewable energy sector.
- Reflects the view that our industry is undergoing a profound and rapid transformation, driven mainly by technological innovations.
STRATEGIC PLAN AT A GLANCE
We will successfully implement our strategic plan and achieve our financial objectives by means of the following:
- Solid expertise in the development of small and midsize projects, which is key to our ability to seize opportunities in increasingly competitive markets, particularly in solar power.
- Strict financial discipline, targeting projects and acquisitions that meet specific growth and synergy criteria in order to create value and generate returns in line with shareholder expectations. We plan to carry out more projects through partnerships while retaining control and management of operations to generate additional.
- Maintaining the approach that has contributed to our success, which is to establish predictable cash flows through long-term, indexed, fixed price energy sales contracts. By 2023, we expect 96% of our revenues to come from such contracts, with an expected weighted average remaining term of about 11 years.
We are implementing our strategic plan based on the growth potential in the markets in which we operate. The table below provides an overview of the installed-capacity potential of our target geographic markets in Europe and North America.
- The wind power segment is the top growth vector, accounting for 88% of our total installed capacity as at December 31, 2019.
- Our analyses indicate that wind power has a total market potential of 10,550 MW for the Corporation, which has a total of 2,050 MW in the pipeline at various stages of development in this segment.
- The potential market for solar power is about 20,000 MW. We plan to substantially strengthen our presence; the current pipeline in this segment totals 450 MW.
The Growth Path chart below shows the projects that have obtained all the authorizations required for launching construction:
Developments by Strategic Direction
Boralex continues to develop according to its four strategic directions, building on the potential offered by the European and North American markets where it already operates.
- Europe continues to offer the best short-term potential for developing the Corporation’s portfolio of wind power assets. Wind power segment potential in France stands to total about 7.5 GW by 2023.
- In this country, we have a portfolio of wind power projects at varying stages of completion, equal to a capacity of about 1,023 MW. Given our long-term presence and extensive knowledge of this market, we are well positioned to capitalize on the favourable environment for growth in renewable energy, especially in the wind power segment.
- Building on these achievements, Boralex actively participates in the tendering process for the construction of wind farms in France. This process aims to award all feed-in premium contracts in tranches of 250 MW in July 2020 and 500 MW in November 2020. For the years 2021 to 2024, two tranches of 925 MW each per year will be awarded under the process.
- Each contract will have a 20-year term as of commissioning. Following the wins under these RFPs, the Corporation is one of the top three companies with the largest number of MW awarded to date, strengthening its position as a leading independent player in the onshore wind power industry in France.
- Furthermore, Boralex is well placed to penetrate the U.K. market as result of a partnership entered into in October 2017 with Infinergy. The 90 MW Limekiln project in Scotland was approved in 2019 and is included in the secure section of the Corporation’s Growth path.
- In wind power, we are targeting a potential market of 1,075 MW.
- The Corporation also has a 435 MW portfolio of projects in the solar power segment, up 75 MW compared to the previous quarter.
Initially, the Corporation is focusing its business diversification efforts on its solar power segment. Projects considered to be part of Diversification represent a potential additional capacity of 598 MW.
- Europe is the region with the greatest opportunities for solar power generation; we are focusing our efforts on a potential market totalling 11,100 MW by 2023.
- We plan to ramp up development of our operations in the solar power segment in France by leveraging our existing facilities to strengthen our expertise in this sector.
- In North America, as a first step, Boralex is targeting the State of New York market which represents a potential of some 4,300 MW by 2025
- We have deployed resources to develop the niche of small and midsize facilities in the Northeastern U.S., an area requiring special expertise and where competition is less targered.
- Boralex has also opened an office in New York City and hired some ten higly qualified local employees. They will be supported by the team members in place in Canada since a number of years who were tasked with responsibilities and priorities related to the development of the State of New York market.
- On March 13, 2020, Boralex announced that the four solar power projects it had submitted were selected by NYSERDA under its 2019 RFP launched under the “Renewable Energy Standard” for the purchase of Tier-1 renewable energy credits (“Environmental Credits”). The selection of these projects totalling 180 MW initiated a process whereby Boralex and NYSERDA are working to finalize agreements to purchase the Environmental Credits associated with the energy generated by each project.
- Boralex is continuing its efforts to gradually deploy a batterybased energy storage service, leveraging the significant cost reduction associated with this technology. It considers this service complementary to promote the widespread use of renewable energies and accelerate the energy transition.
- Since the beginning of fiscal 2020, Boralex commissioned its first electricity storage asset with an installed capacity of 2 MW at one of its existing wind farms in France. Also, the Corporation made a bid under an RFP for a hybrid project comprising 5 MW of solar energy and 5 MW of energy storage in the State of New York in the United States.
We have deployed sales teams in France and the United States to serve a wider customer base. The main objective is to sign energy sales contracts directly with electricity consuming commercial or industrial companies (corporate PPA), as well as the gradual addition of complementary services offered to energy transmission networks and large-scale electricity consumers.
- Boralex announced its first energy sales contract with a major French company in the first quarter. This five-year contract effective January 1, 2021 was entered into with the Orange group for an existing wind farm (39 MW) whose contract with EDF was coming to an end.
- Boralex entered into its second energy sales contract with a major French company in the second quarter. A three-year energy sales contract effective January 1, 2021 was entered into with the Auchan group for two existing wind farms (4 MW and 12 MW) whose contracts with EDF were coming to an end.
Two main components:
- Consider the potential sale of minority interests in future energy assets to ensure an optimal allocation of capital.
- Increase synergies within the company and ensure optimal use of existing resources and assets:
- Through initiatives to reduce maintenance or financing costs
- Or through the repowering of existing equipment
Different projects underway demonstrate our approach to the optimal use of resources:
- The repowering project for the Cham Longe I wind farm in France: installed capacity at this facility is going from 17 MW to 35 MW after wind turbines are replaced by more efficient equipment, which should add an additional contribution to annual EBITDA(A) and a new 20-year contract.
- Construction on two other repowering projects will begin soon. The Evits et Josaphat and Remise de Reclainville wind farms advanced to the ready-to-build phase on August 6, 2020. Each of these wind farms will have an installed capacity of 14 MW following repowering work, representing a 2 MW increase in capacity, with more high-performance equipment and a new 20-year contract.
Boralex also intends to take over and perform service and maintenance work in-house for assets in several wind farms in Canada, currently under external maintenance contracts. During the second quarter, the Corporation took the necessary measures to repatriate maintenance work inhouse as early as the end of fiscal 2020 in respect of assets with a total installed capacity of 272 MW (136 MW net) in Canada
Financial objectives – current status:
To ensure that implementation of the strategic plan delivers disciplined growth and creates value for shareholders, Boralex management tracks three criteria as financial objectives.
Discretionary cash flows
For the full three-month period ended June 30, 2020, a negative amount of $4 million was recognized for discretionary cash flows compared with a positive amount of $16 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2019.
Most of this decrease in discretionary cash flows resulted primarily from the change in the repayment schedule following the November 2019 refinancing in France. Before the refinancing, no repayments were made on approximately 25% of debts in France during the second quarter. Also, under the refinancing, debt repayments were adjusted quarterly for the seasonal nature of revenues from wind farms in France with the repayment taking place in the month following the quarter in question. Accordingly, in the second quarter, the Corporation made debt repayments based on expected EBITDA for the first quarter and as indicated in the Seasonal factors section, results for the first quarter are generally higher than those for the second quarter. To eliminate these effects, a temporary adjustment of $10 million was made and this amount will be reversed during the third quarter of 2020.
Additionally, the distributions received from joint ventures and associates decreased by $6 million over the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same period of 2019 owing to a change in the distribution schedule following the refinancing of LP1 wind farm in December 2019 and to less favourable wind conditions in Québec during the first quarter.
For the 12-month period ended June 30, 2020, discretionary cash flows amounted to $124 million compared with $120 million for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2019.
This $4 million difference resulted from the $21 million increase in EBITDAbetween these two periods following wind power production in the first quarter of 2020 that largely exceeded output in the first quarter of 2019. This increase was partially offset by a change in the repayment schedule following the refinancing in France as indicated previously which had a net unfavourable impact of $15 million.
Over the last twelve months, a $15 million favourable volume difference was realized compared with anticipated results.
*See the Non-IFRS Measure section of the latest quarterly report.
The dividends paid to shareholders during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2020 represented a payout ratio of 50%, which falls within the target payout ratio range of 40% to 60% set in the Corporation’s financial objectives for 2023.
*See the Non-IFRS Measure section of the latest quarterly report.
Net installed capacity
As at August 6, 2020, Boralex’s net installed capacity was 2,055 MW.