The companies in the clean energy sector did not hide their satisfaction yesterday at seeing the Democratic government of Joe Biden take back the keys to the White House.
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“It is frankly with great relief that I watched the induction ceremony,” Innergex president Michel Letellier told us yesterday. Even on TV it was quite a poignant event to watch. ”
Openly concerned about climate change, the new president has set himself ambitious objectives in terms of energy transition. These necessarily hold great hopes for clean energy producers like Innergex, Boralex, and even Hydro-Québec.
The same applies to dozens of subcontractors or equipment manufacturers, such as Marmen in Trois-Rivières, or LM Wind Power in Gaspé, specialized in the manufacture of parts or components intended for the development of wind, solar or energy. hydraulic.
In the United States, energy matters generally fall under state jurisdiction. Its advances in recent years in this area are therefore mainly the result of initiatives by progressive states in this area, such as California and New York.
Nevertheless, the orientations of the central administration are now harmonized with those of these States may favor the development of projects in which several local companies are already engaged.
Opportunities for growth
The president of Innergex, already present in the United States with 13 projects completed for an installed power of 1169 (in addition to 6 other projects in development), believes that this change of government and the resumption of Democratic control in the Senate may allow maintaining public programs to encourage the adoption of wind and solar power in the United States.
The company already has around 40 employees in this country, with offices in San Diego and Boston. Its presence could grow rapidly, as the income from this country increases.
In 2019, the United States accounted for 12% of its revenue ($ 698M), compared to 14% in France and 3% in Chile. Considering the extent of the American territory, Mr. Letellier estimates that this proportion could reach “30% to 40%” in the coming years.
The Cuomo locomotive
Same enthusiasm on the part of Boralex, another private producer of clean energy in Quebec. The former energy subsidiary of Cascades (Cascades Énergie) now has an installed capacity – in Canada, France and the United States – of 2,067 megawatts (MW).
Taking advantage of the leadership of Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State, Boralex has succeeded in increasing its presence in the United States in recent years. The deployment of a team on site has already enabled the Quebecer to win a project for four solar parks, with a capacity of 180 MW.
In the third quarter of 2020, 4% of its power was based in the United States, compared to 49% in France and 47% in Canada. When its stake, announced in November, in 7 other solar parks is completed, its installed capacity in the United States will account for 8% of its global portfolio (2,364 MW).
“The American market offers a lot of potential for the development of projects,” said Boralex spokesperson Isabelle Fontaine. In one year, at the close of the acquisition of interests in seven solar parks, the proportion of our installed capacity in this country will have doubled. We fully intend to continue to make a place for ourselves there. ”
AddÉnergie intends to take advantage of it
For AddEnergy, which notably won contracts to deliver charging stations in New York and Los Angeles, Joe Biden’s economic plan, which includes several components on the electrification of transport, should also generate business opportunities. And there is “no question” for the management “to stay on the sidelines”.
“I won’t hide my enthusiasm. The electrification of transport is a major trend. With Mr. Biden in power, this is expected to be a big catalyst. In his election platform, he recognizes the urgency to act on climate change, ”said Louis Tremblay, President and CEO.
In addition, if American protectionism is on the rise due to the change of administration, AddEnergy does not rule out the possibility of settling physically with our neighbors to the south. “Are we going to have a physical presence south of the border, it is very possible,” replied the big boss, also wishing to continue to grow his business in Quebec.
With Jean-Michel Genois Gagnon