Ontario Company Targeting Solar's"Achilles Heels" via Strategic Partnerships with Global Renewable Stalwarts and Cradle-to-Grave Execution
OAKVILLE, ON, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - The sun is rising on a new breed of solar developer targeting stakeholders within the Province of Ontario's Feed in Tariff ("FIT") program.
Oakville-based Spark Solar may have been in the solar business for just 12-months but have rapidly developed a reputation for implementation, execution and providing end-to-end solutions. Spark's management believe they have a markedly different skill set and approach than others to date and they've caught the attention of a number of prominent players in the North American renewables sector.
"There is a changing of the guard in Ontario's solar industry," said Andrew Clark, CEO of Spark Solar. "The sector is shifting gears from planning & permitting to execution and deployment. We have a different approach and skill set than our competitors; we anticipate and address problems across the full development spectrum. Where we can't provide the expertise or require muscle that's beyond our scope, we'll look to strategic partners."
"Financing and supply chain issues will be deal killers for many solar projects in Ontario," said Clark. "We felt the best way to address these was through partnership with prominent global players," he added.
The Company announced a strategic partnership today with Brookfield Financial Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management ("BAM") - a global leader in real assets, including renewable power, infrastructure and real estate - will provide strategic and financial advice and will assist with the provision of debt and equity raising. Spark has also attracted attention from multi-national construction firms such as Lockheed Martin Canada Corporation, who it expects will provide engineering, procurement and construction services to leverage its size, supplier knowledge and global supply chain to secure product and competitive pricing. Clark quickly adds, "Other national and global construction leaders have come calling as well. Our deal flow and business model is attracting a lot of attention."
"We are proud to partner with Spark Solar," said Gregory Smith, Managing Partner of Brookfield Financial Corp. "The solar sector is headed into its next phase of growth and suppliers of product and capital are starting to pick their horses. Spark's approach and focus on execution make them extremely bankable," he added.
"Spark is well-aligned to our process and will be solid partners," Smith added. "2011 will be the year of the supply chain in Ontario and around the world so we want to work with those projects that stand a high likelihood of coming to fruition. Spark's cradle-to-grave approach provides comfort that all aspects of the project are being consistently managed, which is critical."
In its first year of operations Spark has been highly-active; founding, structuring, financing and managing the Province's largest agricultural solar co-operative (a thousand-strong farmers and rural land owners in Southwest Ontario participating in the microFIT program).
Spark has been active in the Province of Ontario's consultation process in relation to the Green Energy Act and have worked closely with Provincial and local energy agencies.
The Company has also purchased or partnered on a significant pipeline of projects totally nearly 100 megawatts and engaged a number of non-traditional financings, corporate structures and creative projects. The Company is working with several Ontario municipalities and using its leverage to address problems well outside of their auspices such as job creation and tax reduction.
"To date, many solar developers have been either 'permitters' or speculators," said Clark. "Their game plan has been to own or option choice solar real estate or progress project through the permitting stage, then sell projects to implementers and executors like us," he continued.
"Groups are coming out of the woodwork looking to partner with us. Some have had difficulty arranging capital; for others its general project and construction management and there are an entire new set of challenges on the horizon related to securing supply chain" he added.
For further information on Spark Solar visit www.sparksolar.ca
Spark Solar Inc., assists individuals and organizations with the development, financing, construction and operations of solar power plants for the FiT and microFiT programs in Ontario.
Brookfield Financial Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., is a global investment bank that provides strategic and financial advisory, debt and equity arranging, M&A advisory and investment brokerage services.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is focused on property, renewable power and infrastructure assets, has over $100 billion of assets under management and is co-listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges under the symbol BAM and on NYSE Euronext under the symbol BAMA. For more information, please visit our website at www.brookfield.com.
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