Canadian Manufacturing

Cryptocurrency mining a surprise positive for Canadian renewable firm

Soaring demand for Iceland's geothermal power was not what Quebec-based Innergex was betting on with a $1.1 billion acquisition, but it'll take it

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Innergex acquired a majority stake in the Reykjanes Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland as part of its recent takeover. PHOTO: Christian Bickel/Wikimedia

LONGUEUIL, Que.—Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. says increasing demand from cryptocurrency mining is helping to boost demand at its recently acquired operations in Iceland.

CEO Michel Letellier says the energy-intensive computer activity could help further its expansion in the country and is one of the surprise positives of Innergex’s takeover of Alterra Power Corp.

Innergex completed the $1.1-billion takeover on Feb. 6, netting it 485 megawatts of renewable capacity including 100 megawatts of geothermal in Iceland as well as assets in Canada and the U.S.

The company says the deal will help it expand internationally, especially in the U.S., but that it is also still looking at possibilities closer to home.

In the last quarter before completing the acquisition, Innergex had net earnings of $3.5 million or five cents per share, down from $8.8 million or eight cents per share last year after an increase in financing costs and other financial impairments.

Revenue increased to $108 million for the last quarter of 2017, from $73 million a year earlier, after the company brought online three renewable operations and acquired seven others.

Letellier says while the company’s focus remains on renewable power generation, it is also looking at energy storage options.

“The world is changing and we just want to make sure we’re following up and we keep up with the potential innovation in our business,” Letellier said.

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