Financial Crown corporation Export Development Canada (EDC) has agreed to financially back a construction finance facility for commercial and industrial sector distributable renewable energy provider UGE International Ltd. (TSXV:UGE)(OTCQB:UGEIF), providing the company with construction financing for the development of its international solar projects.
The first UGE project to leverage the EDC program will be its recently announced rooftop solar project in Brooklyn, New York, which will see the company install 261 kW of solar panels on the rooftop of the Christian Cultural Center, which occupies an 11-acre campus and is one of the largest independent churches in the United States with over 37,000 members in its congregation.
Endura Energy Project Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of UGE International Ltd., has been developing and constructing several solar energy projects in the Ontario market, including a partnership with non-profit solar power community ownership co-op SolarShare.
The partnership with EDC allows UGE and Endura to keep financing in-house and provides more flexibility for the company to manage or sell assets on its own terms.
“Supporting the development of clean technologies like solar energy is one of EDC’s priorities, and Endura has proven itself to be a leader in that space with great potential for international growth,” said Stephen Callaghan, Regional Vice-President, Ontario, and Export Development Canada.
The rooftop installation at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center is expected to generate over 330,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar power each year, representing the elimination of over 5,264 metric tons of CO2 over the system’s lifetime, the equivalent of about 12.5 million passenger vehicle miles, or planting over 134,000 carbon-sequestering trees.
In addition to Endura’s and SolarShare’s projects in Kingston, Timiskaming and Earlton, Ontario, which are ground-mounted facilities set to utilize dual-axis solar tracking technology connected to the grid and deriving between C$18 million and C$20 million revenue via Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff FIT3 program, UGE has also applied for the fifth round of Ontario’s FIT program, which entails selling power generated under a 20-year fixed-price contract.
Last year, Endura also installed two rooftop solar projects in Brampton, Ontario, adding 1.2 MW power generation to their solar portfolio.
UGE, meanwhile, also has its eye on what it regards as a strong market for alternative energy in Alberta, among other possible Canadian markets.
“Since our acquisition of Endura earlier this year, we have looked for ways to leverage our wealth of experience in Canada to international markets,” said Jimmy Vaiopoulos, CFO of UGE. “EDC is an incredible partner for Canadian companies expanding their economic opportunities abroad. We are excited about how this will not only benefit our customers, but will enhance Canada’s reputation as a leader in clean energy.”
Vaiopoulos believes that the EDC backing will provide a template for future international investment.
In Canada alone, UGE has consulted on or built 280 megawatts of alternative energy, equivalent to about $560 million in total project value, and 330 megawatts globally, by helping commercial and industrial clients become more competitive by discovering a lowest cost formula for distributed renewable energy.
Backing from EDC for international solar projects will likely help UGE with its planned 475 kW rooftop solar installation for Philippine Spring Water Resources, the local manufacturer and distributor of Nature’s Spring bottled drinking water, in Cebu, Philippines.