Toronto - UGE International ltd. (TSXV: UGE) (OTCQB: UGEIF) (the 'Company' or 'UGE'), a leader in the commercial and community solar sector, is pleased to announce its milestones for the third quarter ending September 30, 2021 and the appointment of Stephanie Bird as CFO.
Pipeline and Backlog Growth Continues
During the third quarter, UGE moved over 20MW of pipeline projects into backlog, which exceeded 105MW as of September 30, 2021 versus 83.7MW on June 30, 2021 and 60.6MW on December 31, 2020. The Company's overall pipeline (including backlog) also grew significantly, exceeding 800MW as of September 30, 2021, up from 441MW on June 30, 2021.
The growth in backlog is anticipated to continue as the Company is now reaching significant scale and becoming known as a leader in community solar. Growth in backlog is coming from new and existing clients, coincident with the growth in pipeline, which almost doubled quarter-over-quarter. UGE added projects to its backlog in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, with the latter being the Company's first New York project outside of Con Edison's service territory. 1.5MW of the backlog came from the Philippines.
Pipeline growth was bolstered by an 81-site LOI signed with a global real estate company in August 2021. The multi-state portfolio is currently in development, with the first projects expected to move into backlog in the fourth quarter.
In New York, an additional 740kW rooftop community solar project reached Notice to Proceed with commercial operation expected by Q1 2022. Non-recourse project-level debt was secured for the project using a customary construction-to-permanent structure. The permanent debt carries an interest rate of 5.5%, a 50bps decrease from the most recent closing, with a term of seven years and amortization over 20 years; during the construction period the interest rate is 8.5%. Meanwhile, deployment continues at the projects that reached Notice to Proceed in the second quarter, consisting of two community solar projects in Staten Island and eight microgrids across New York City.
Off-Take Agreement Updates
Lastly, during the quarter, UGE announced a partnership agreement with Bloomberg that sees Bloomberg's employees subscribe to clean energy produced by UGE's solar systems. UGE has also signed an energy off-take agreement with a Fortune 100 company, details of which are expected to be announced in due course. Direct off-take agreements can lead to decreased project funding costs and increased project returns, while providing off-takers with clean energy at rates cheaper than that available from the grid.
'With the third quarter behind us, our 2021 goals, including that of reaching 120MW of project development backlog, are firmly within our grasp,' said Tyler Adkins, UGE's Chief Revenue Officer. 'Across the organization we continue to execute, with recent portfolio and off-take agreements providing a template for replication going forward.'
Stephanie Bird Appointed CFO; Grant of Options
UGE is pleased to have appointed Stephanie Bird as CFO, effective today. Stephanie is a seasoned finance and operations professional, with over 25 years of senior finance leadership experience. Stephanie was most recently CFO of Cloud DX, and has previously held leadership positions at Just Energy, Kognitiv Corporation, and G Adventures.
'We are excited to welcome Stephanie and her demonstrated track record of helping companies scale as UGE enters its next phase of growth,' said UGE's CEO, Nick Blitterswyk. 'On behalf of the Company, I'd like to thank Marissa Lauder for her significant contributions made over the past year, helping UGE pivot to our asset ownership model and rebuilding our balance sheet. I'd like to also thank her for ensuring a seamless CFO transition, and I wish her continued success in her future endeavors.'
On September 29, 2021, the Company granted an aggregate of 475,000 stock options ('Options') to its board members and incoming CFO in accordance with the Company's employee stock option plan. Each Option entitles the holder to acquire one common share of the Company at an exercise price of CAD$1.41 per share, the five-day VWAP immediately preceding the grant date.
UGE develops, owns, and operates commercial and community solar projects in the US and strategic markets abroad. Our distributed energy solutions deliver cheaper, cleaner energy to businesses and consumers with no upfront cost. With over 500MW of global experience, we work daily to power a more sustainable world.
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Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of the Company. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as 'plan', 'continue', 'expect', 'project', 'intend', 'believe', 'anticipate', 'estimate', 'may', 'will', 'potential', 'proposed' and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions 'may' or 'will' occur. These statements are only predictions. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the anticipated closing of the Offering, the anticipated use of proceeds, and the receipt of regulatory approvals, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.