Breaking News: Cayoose Band partners with Innergex to buy Walden North

In a long-anticipated move, it was announced today that Sekw’el’was (Cayoose Creek Band) has joined forces with Quebec-based Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. to purchase the Walden North power plant, located south of Lillooet on Highway 99.

Sekw’el’was and Innergex say they have entered into an agreement for the joint acquisition of the 16 MW hydroelectric facility. Under the terms of partnership,   Innergex owns 51 per cent of the partnership and Sekw’el’was 49 per cent.

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Innergex and Cayoose Creek Development Corp., the economic arm of Cayoose Creek Band, say their limited partnership will jointly acquire the assets of the Walden project from FortisBC for $9.2 million. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, and set to be completed within the first quarter of 2016.

The Walden North Hydroelectric project is located on private land on Cayoosh Creek. The project consists of a run-of-river hydro plant diverting flow from Cayoosh Creek through a 250-metre power tunnel and 100-metre penstock, to five Litostroj horizontal Francis turbines. According to a news release, the facility was commissioned and has been in operation since 1992, and all the electricity it produces is sold to BC Hydro.

The Walden North facility is expected to generate annual revenues of approximately $2.2 million in 2016, and Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) of $1.1 million.

Sekw’el’was Chief Michelle Edwards stated, “We are excited to have created a solid partnership to accompany us in this project. The acquisition of Walden North is part of our overall growth strategy and economic vision for Sekw’el’was, and presents a wealth of opportunities for our members and the local community.”

From the inception of the Cayoose Creek Development Corp., Chief Edwards has always said it was her Band’s intention to create economic opportunities for the local community, as well as Band members.

 “We are very pleased to share the news of this acquisition because it not only strengthens our already well-established presence in BC, but it also represents another great example of a successful partnership with a First Nation, something which is at the heart of our business model,” said Innergex CEO Michel Letellier. “We look forward to a fruitful relationship with this new partner.”

Sekw’el’was describes itself as a “community of just over 200 that has survived and thrived through many hardships. Community members are proud of their roots and the community has a rich history of tool making and trading with other nations. Sek’wel’was is a member of St’at’imc and the Lillooet Tribal Council.”

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (listed on the TSX as INE) is a leading Canadian independent renewable power producer. Active since 1990, Innergex develops, owns, and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, and solar photovoltaic farms and carries out its operations in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Idaho, USA.

Its portfolio of assets currently consists of:

-       interests in 34 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 708 MW (gross 1,216 MW), including 27 hydroelectric operating facilities, six wind farms, and one solar photovoltaic farm;

-       interests in four projects under development or under construction with an aggregate net installed capacity of 187 MW (gross 297 MW), for which power purchase agreements have been secured; and

-       prospective projects with an aggregate net capacity totaling 3,190 MW (gross 3,330 MW).

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