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23.05.2020 01:52:00

Innergex Disputes Curtailment Notices From BC Hydro

LONGUEUIL, QC, May 22, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (TSX: INE) ("Innergex" or the "Corporation") announced today that it has received notices from BC Hydro in relation to six of the Corporation's hydroelectric facilities in British Columbia stating that BC Hydro will not accept and purchase energy under the applicable electricity purchase agreements ("EPAs") above a specified curtailment level for the period starting on May 22, 2020 and ending on July 20, 2020, which period may be further extended by BC Hydro. The specified curtailment levels are 0.0 MW/h for the Jimmie Creek, Upper Lillooet River, Northwest Stave River, and Boulder Creek facilities, 2.0 MW/h for the Tretheway Creek facility and 4.0 MW/h for the Big Silver Creek facility. Maintaining these curtailment levels for the period specified would translate in a loss in revenues of less than $20 million for Innergex, based on past production levels.

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 EPAs, and resulting in a situation in which BC Hydro is unable to accept or purchase energy under the EPAs. The notices to Innergex follow public statements by BC Hydro regarding measures it is taking to address the reduced electricity demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and related challenges to the safe operation of its hydroelectric system.

Innergex disputes that the current pandemic and related governmental measures in any way prevent BC Hydro from fulfilling it 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 acknowledges that BC Hydro retains "turn-down" rights under the EPAs, which enable it to require Innergex to turn down or shut off its facilities in certain circumstances, including in order to avoid a safety or stability risk. Where BC Hydro exercises this right, it is required under the EPAs to compensate Innergex for energy that would have been produced at the facilities in the absence of the curtailment.

Innergex intends to comply with BC Hydro's curtailment request, but will do so under protest and will seek to enforce its rights under the EPAs on the basis described above.

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 and solar farms, 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 69 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 2,656 MW (gross 3,556 MW), including 37 hydroelectric facilities, 26 wind farms and six solar farms. Innergex also holds interests in six projects under development, two of which are under construction, with a net installed capacity of 295 MW (gross 369 MW), and prospective projects at different stages of development with an aggregate gross capacity totaling 7,131 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.

Forward-Looking Information Disclaimer
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), 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.

Since forward-looking information addresses future events and conditions, it is by its very nature subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information involves 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. These include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with the ability of Innergex to execute its strategy for building shareholder value, its ability to raise additional capital and the state of the capital markets, liquidity risks related to derivative financial instruments, variability in hydrology, wind regimes and solar irradiation, uncertainties surrounding the development of new facilities, interest rate fluctuations and refinancing risks, financial leverage and restrictive covenants governing current and future indebtedness, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions, variability of installations performance and related penalties, foreign exchange fluctuations and the fact that revenues from certain facilities will vary based on the market (or spot) price of electricity.

To combat the spread of the COVID-19, authorities in all regions where we operate have put in place restrictive measures for businesses. However, these measures have not impacted the Corporation in a material way to date as electricity production has been deemed essential service in every region where we operate. Our renewable power production is sold mainly through PPAs to solid counterparts. It is not excluded that current or future restrictive measures might have an adverse effect on the financial stability of the Corporation's suppliers and other partners, or on the Corporation's operating results and financial position. The issuance of permits and authorizations, negotiations and finalizations of agreements with regards to development and acquisition projects, construction activities and procurement of equipment could be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 restrictive measures.

The following table outlines Forward-looking information contained in this press release, the principal assumptions used to derive this information and the principal risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from this information.

Principal Assumptions

Principal Risk and Uncertainties

Expected production
For each facility, the Corporation determines a long-term average annual level of electricity production ("LTA") over the expected life of the facility, based on engineers' studies that take into consideration a number of important factors: for hydroelectricity, the historically observed flows of the river, the operating head, the technology employed and the reserved aesthetic and ecological flows; for wind energy, the historical wind and meteorological conditions and turbine technology; and for solar energy, the historical solar irradiation conditions, panel technology and expected solar panel degradation. Other factors considered include, without limitation, site topography, installed capacity, energy losses, operational features and maintenance. Although production will fluctuate from year to year, over an extended period it should approach the estimated LTA.

On a consolidated basis, the Corporation estimates its LTA by adding together the expected LTAs of all the Operating Facilities that it consolidates. This consolidation excludes however the facilities which are accounted for using the equity method.

Improper assessment of water, wind and solar resources and associated electricity production
Variability in hydrology, wind regimes and solar irradiation resources
Equipment supply risk, including failure or unexpected operations and maintenance activity
Natural disasters and force majeure
Regulatory and political risks affecting production
Health, safety and environmental risks affecting production
Variability of installation performance and related penalties
Availability and reliability of transmission systems
Litigation

Projected revenues
For each facility, expected annual revenues are estimated by multiplying the LTA by a price for electricity stipulated in the PPA secured with a public utility or other creditworthy counterparty. In most cases, these PPAs stipulate a base price for electricity produced and, in some cases, a price adjustment depending on the month, day and hour of its delivery. This excludes facilities that receive revenues based on the market (or spot) price for electricity, including the Foard City, Shannon and Flat Top wind farms, the Phoebe solar farm and the Miller Creek hydroelectric facility, which receives a price based on a formula using the Platts Mid-C pricing indices; and the Horseshoe Bend hydroelectric facility, for which 85% of the price is fixed and 15% is adjusted annually as determined by the Idaho Public Utility Commission. In most cases, PPAs also contain an annual inflation adjustment based on a portion of the Consumer Price Index.

On a consolidated basis, the Corporation estimates annual revenues by adding together the projected revenues of the Operating Facilities that it consolidates. The consolidation excludes however the facilities which are accounted for using the equity method.

See principal assumptions, risks and uncertainties identified under "Expected Production
Reliance on PPAs
Revenues from certain facilities will vary based on the market (or spot) price of electricity
Fluctuations affecting prospective power prices Changes in general economic conditions Ability to secure new PPAs or renew any PPA

Projected Adjusted EBITDA

For each facility, the Corporation estimates annual operating earnings by adding (deducting) to net earnings (loss) provision (recovery) for income tax expenses, finance cost, depreciation and amortization, other net expenses, share of (earnings) loss of joint ventures and associates and change in fair value of financial instruments.

See principal assumptions, risks and Uncertainties identified under "Expected Production" and "Projected Revenues"
Unexpected maintenance expenditures

 

Projected Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate

On a consolidated basis, the Corporation estimates annual Adjusted EBITDA Proportionate by adding to the projected Adjusted EBITDA Innergex's share of Adjusted EBITDA of the operating joint ventures and associates, other revenues related to PTCs, and Innergex's share of the other net revenues of the operating joint ventures and associates' related to PTCs.

See principal assumptions, risks and uncertainties identified under "Expected Production", "Projected Revenues" and "Projected Adjusted EBITDA"

Although the Corporation believes that the expectations and assumptions on which Forward-Looking Information is based are reasonable, readers of this press release are cautioned not to rely unduly on this Forward-Looking Information since no assurance can be given that they will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and Innergex undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

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