Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Boralex Says Hydro-Quebec Deal Could Breathe Life into Kingsey Falls Facility: Boralex Hopes for Hydro Supply Deal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Boralex Says Hydro-Quebec Deal Could Breathe Life into Kingsey Falls Facility: Boralex Hopes for Hydro Supply Deal

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - Boralex says its natural gas co-generation facility in Kingsey Falls, Que., could get a new lease on life if the alternative energy producer can win a supply agreement with Hydro-Quebec.

The public utility is seeking candidates that can provide power to the grid during winter months to compensate for unstable electricity supplied by wind farms.

Boralex intends to put its name forward before the June deadline. A request for proposals would follow for five-year agreements involving facilities that produce more than 20 megawatts of power.

"It would be a great second life for this facility and who knows what can happen in those five years," CEO Patrick Lemaire said Wednesday in discussing its first-quarter results.

In 1989, the natural gas-fired co-generation facility became one of the first power stations in Quebec to supply electricity to the Hydro-Quebec grid.

Employing about 300 workers, it faces low natural gas prices and challenges in securing long-term supply contracts under current market conditions, Lemaire said during a conference call.

If gas prices stay low, Boralex might be able to extend the contract for a longer period, he added.

Profits at Boralex (TSX:BLX) surged 23 per cent to $4.8 million in the first quarter on higher revenues from wind and hydroelectric production and the addition of solar power in France.

The Quebec-based energy producer earned 13 cents per share for the period ended March 31, compared to 11 cents a year earlier when profits were $3.9 million.

Results increased 141 per cent adjusting for a $500,000 asset impairment this year, compared with a $1.7 million gain from the sale of assets last year.

Revenues increased slightly to $57.5 million from $57.3 million.

Its thermal power station in Dolbeau, Que., ceased operations in the third quarter. Excluding revenues last year from that biomass facility, revenues were up 7.7 per cent.

The improvement was driven by a 13 per cent increase in wind and hydroelectric power output, higher selling prices and the June commissioning of its first solar power station. …

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