Stockwatch – Packaging and tissue products maker Cascades, Inc. (TSE:CAS, Mkt cap 600.65M, P/E – , Div/yield 0.04/2.51, EPS -0.33, Shares 94.15M) has teamed up with solar thermal firm Rackam to build a solar park in southern Quebec in an effort to further integrate green energy into its business.
The Alain-Lemaire Solar Park will supply energy to Cascades’ units in Kingsey Falls, with the energy produced from the facility used to produce hot water required for operations at the industrial complex.
Cascades says the project is the first in the pulp and paper industry and the only facility of its kind in Canada, which Rackam said is “proof of Cascades’ leadership and innovative spirit”.
The concentrated solar polar system will heat more than 87 million litres of pressurized water, saving 139,700 cubic metres of natural gas annually and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 265 equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, or 5,300 tonnes of over 20 years.
Rackam, which called the results “extremely satisfying”, says the deployment of roughly 1,490 square metres of mirrors will produce one megawatt-hour per year.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand praised the project, which cost just over $1 million, saying the development fits in nicely with the Quebec government’s vision for green energy.
“We are making significant efforts to support the development of new sources of clean energy, and to encourage the business community to employ these innovative energy-producing technologies,” he added.
Financing for the project partly came from a $463,500 grant from Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources through the former Energy Innovation Assistance Program, now part of the Technoclimat Program.
Energy company Gaz Metro also contributed $76,000 through its innovation program.
Stockwatch – during the past three years, Cascades’ earnings have declined by an average of 22.80% annually. However, this is comparable to the industry average growth of 22.80%. For fiscal years 2014 and 2015, analysts are estimating Cascades Inc earnings to hit $0.37 in 2014 and $0.72 in 2015.
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