EDMONTON, Alberta – Capital Power Corporation (Capital Power or the Company) (TSX: CPX) provided an update today on the expected impact of changes to Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER).
SGER requires facilities that emit 100,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gases a year to reduce emissions intensity by a specific target. Companies may comply by improving facility efficiency, purchasing Alberta-based carbon offset credits, or contributing to the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund (CCEMF or Tech Fund). From 2007 to 2013, Capital Power registered nearly 10 million tonnes of carbon offsets for the Alberta market, and used Alberta offsets for 100% of its SGER compliance needs from 2008 to 2012.
The changes announced today will increase the required reduction in emissions intensity from 12% to 15% in 2016 and 20% in 2017, and increase the cost of contributions to the CCEMF from $15 per tonne to $20 per tonne in 2016 and $30 per tonne by 2017.
“Capital Power supports additional action to reduce Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said President & CEO Brian Vaasjo, who joined Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips at her announcement of the program changes. “Increasing the SGER program’s cost and stringency will accelerate the transition to cleaner electricity sources including renewables, and ensure the continued delivery of reliable, affordable power to Alberta homes and businesses. Today’s announcement is an important milestone in the development of an enhanced climate change strategy.”
Capital Power expects that between 2016 and 2020 the increase in the company’s compliance costs will be partly mitigated by higher wholesale power prices. Capital Power has a significant inventory of low-cost carbon credits that have been developed over the past eight years, and which are expected to offset the balance of the company’s compliance costs through 2020. The projected impact post 2020 is a $10 to $15 million reduction in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) per year once its existing inventory is fully utilized and assuming no actions to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Alberta government has announced a consultation process that it expects will lead to a Climate Change Strategy being announced later in 2015. Capital Power will actively participate in those consultations.
“We look forward to being active participants in the consultation process,” said Mr. Vaasjo, “and to helping the government and Albertans find the most effective and efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect Alberta’s air quality, and maintain a reliable and competitive electricity sector.”
Non-GAAP Financial Measure
The Company uses EBITDA as a financial performance measure and is not a defined financial measure according to GAAP and do not have standardized meanings prescribed by GAAP, and are, therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures used by other enterprises. EBITDA is provided to complement GAAP measures in the analysis of the Company’s results of operations from management’s perspective.
Forward-looking information or statements included in this press release are provided to inform the Company’s shareholders and potential investors about management’s assessment of Capital Power’s future plans and operations. This information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The forward-looking information in this press release is generally identified by words such as will, anticipate, believe, plan, intend, target, and expect or similar words that suggest future outcomes.
Material forward-looking information in this press release includes information with respect to expectations regarding: (i) the increase in SGER compliance costs being partly mitigated by higher wholesale power prices, (ii) the company’s inventory of low-cost carbon credits expected to offset the balance of the company’s compliance costs through 2020, and (iii) projected impact post 2020 is a $10 to $15 million reduction in EBITDA per year after existing inventory of carbon credits is fully utilized and assuming no action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the Company in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, and other factors it believes are appropriate. The material factors and assumptions used to develop these forward-looking statements relate to: (i) electricity and other energy prices, (ii) performance, (iii) business prospects and opportunities including expected growth and capital projects, (iv) status and impact of policy, legislation and regulation, and (v) effective tax rates.
Whether actual results, performance or achievements will conform to the Company’s expectations and predictions is subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the Company’s expectations. Such material risks and uncertainties are: (i) changes in electricity prices in markets in which the Company operates, (ii) changes in energy commodity market prices and use of derivatives, (iii) regulatory and political environments including changes to environmental, financial reporting and tax legislation, (iv) power plant availability and performance including maintenance of equipment, (v) ability to fund current and future capital and working capital needs, (vi) acquisitions and developments including timing and costs of regulatory approvals and construction, (vii) changes in market prices and availability of fuel, and (viii) changes in general economic and competitive conditions. See Risks and Risk Management in the Company’s December 31, 2014 annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis for further discussion of these and other risks.
About Capital Power
Capital Power (TSX: CPX) is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, operates and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns more than 3,200 megawatts of power generation capacity at 17 facilities across North America and owns 371 megawatts of capacity through a power purchase agreement. An additional 545 megawatts of owned generation capacity is under construction or in advanced development in Alberta and North Carolina.