Economic recovery | Local companies are already on the starting line

This is a one-time opportunity. Economies undermined by the epidemic are preparing to restart. The Biden administration’s stimulus plan for the US economy places great emphasis on green energy and will push companies here over the next few years. Many of them are already ready to take advantage of it. In addition, you need to know more about it.

Helen BarrellHelen Barrell

Marmen is at the center of the action

The wind turbine manufacturer in Trois-Riviere did not wait for the Biden administration’s stimulus plan in an attempt to invade the US market. With a plant in South Dakota and soon a second in New York state, Marmen is already at the heart of renewable energies development in the United States.

“With the Biden plan, it will definitely accelerate,” said Vincent Trudel, vice president and director of operations.

The plant first appeared on wind farms in Quebec, until development ended due to excess electricity. His decision to export steel towers to the United States now places him in the forefront of Part Two.

Marmen relies on offshore wind energy (Navy), Which New York State decided to develop at high speed. With two partners, Quebec is building a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Albany Port, which will be ready in 2023 and employ 350 people.

Given the momentum for the advent of renewable energies on US soil, Vincent Trudel said, “We have our eyes open for other opportunities.”

Wind power at sea is promising for Marmen.

Costs have decreased, wind turbines are getting more powerful and this solves the transportation problem, as the construction of transmission lines in densely populated areas is more and more complicated.

Vincent Trudel, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Marmen

The company has already tasted American protectionism. It is currently defying the 6% tariff imposed by the Trump administration on its made-in Quebec towers. “It doesn’t stop us from exporting, but it encourages us to manufacture there,” says Vincent Trudel, who believes that the US economy remains, despite everything, one of the most open economies in the world.

AddÉnergie at full speed

Portrait of David Boilly, Press Archives

The AddÉnergie Network, a Quebec-based company, has 55,000 public, commercial and residential stations.

The market for electric vehicle charging stations has been booming for several years. “The intention announced by the US president to support the installation of 500,000 stations will have a catalytic effect,” rejoices Sylvan Bouvard, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at AddÉnergie, born in Quebec in 2009.

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Developing a network of charging stations will ensure that more Americans make the decision to switch to electric cars. This means increased demand for shipping at home and in the workplace. “We do it all,” sums up the commander.

The AddÉnergie network includes 55,000 public, commercial and residential stations. The company currently manufactures it in Shaoyenigan. Decisions must be made regarding expansion of that plant or installation in the United States, as Sylvan Bouffard specifies. “Protectionism is a concern, which is why we are thinking about stability there,” he said. But only the size of the market justifies this anyway. ”

AddÉnergie already has teams in California, New York and Florida.

Some countries are advancing, but electrification is a primary trend.

Sylvain Bouvard, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at AddÉnergie

The competition will intensify, Sylvan Bouvard admits. “But we have a very competitive offer.”

The company is receiving support from US Energy Impact Partners, which participated in the latest round of financing. This energy transmission specialist investment platform has particularly attracted AddÉnergie’s deployments on US soil and its growth potential. For Quebec, this strategic partner is valuable. AddÉnergie targets a 20% share of the US charging station market.


Photo by Alan Roberge, archived press

Patrick Decoster, Chairman and CEO of Boralex

The billions fueling the green economy in the US are the first, says Patrick Decoster, Chairman and CEO of Boralex. “This is good news for Boralux and good news for the planet.”

Boralex’s goal of having 8% of its production capacity in the US by 2023 has already been exceeded. The US recovery plan mandates an update of the company’s strategic plan. “There will be more of the United States and more Quebec” in the game plan, notes Patrick Decoster.

Poralex is 30 years old and has been in the United States for 20 years. It is somewhat of Quebec’s oldest company in the renewable energy sector. “Thirty years ago we were hunting down bankers, and today it is the other way around,” he says.

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The company operates in Canada, the United States and France in hydroelectric, wind and solar energy. This experience is an asset in capitalizing on the opportunities presented by decarbonizing electricity production in the United States.

There will be significant investments in power grids to incorporate more renewable energy. There will be more storage. It is fully compatible with our plan.

Patrick Decoster, Chairman and CEO of Boralex

Combining solar farms with storage appears to be the promising path for Boralex. California is dependent on solar energy, so that 60% of its electricity consumption will come from renewable sources in 2030 and be completely carbon-free by 2045. “This is why we are in California,” says Patrick Decoster. We learn more about the more mature markets and then do so elsewhere. ”

Just as important are the changes that brought about from diligence to railroads, he says. “There will be something for everyone,” he says.

Énergir is focusing its sights on solar energy

Photo by Patrick Sunvoon, archived press

Inger relies on renewable natural gas, but it also relies on solar and wind energy.

Énergir has worked for years to become more than just a distributor of natural gas. The Biden plan could allow her to end her shift to renewable energies.

Etienne Champaign, Vice President of Mergers, Acquisitions, Development and Mega Projects, is aware of the opportunity it presents for itself.

It’s a huge budget. We will have to see what share will go to renewable energies, and it still has to be determined, but it could be important.

Etienne Champaign, Vice President of Mergers, Acquisitions, Development and Major Ventures for Énergir

Inger has already identified the pathways for growth that this plan offers. “We are in two worlds, solar energy, wind energy, and renewable natural gas. One aspect that interests us is the solar medium, which is between 1 and 10 megawatts (MW).”

The vehicles that will allow him to go ahead are already in place. The American subsidiary Standard Solar, which was acquired in 2017, is implementing solar projects from the ground up and currently has 200 MW.

Another US subsidiary, Green Mountain Power, in Vermont, has developed, stored, and integrated solar power into its grid. “The battery in Vermont is a success for us, and it can be taken elsewhere, to other electrical distributors that we can get,” explains Etienne Champagne.

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Owned by high-profile shareholders, including the Caisse de dépôt, the Énergir has the means to realize its ambitions. The “advantage of being an operational and strategic team,” stresses the Vice President.

Replacing coal and other polluting energies used in the US is an important lever for companies like Energy. It is believed that the Biden plan will prompt countries to accelerate their environmental goal.

Each country will have to change 25, 30 or 40% of its portfolio to renewable energies. And if the federal government asks institutions like schools to transform, it will accelerate developments that may interest us. “

Experience the new global graphite time

A picture from the Facebook page of the new global graphite

Nouveau Monde Graphite is developing a graphite mine in Saint-Michel-des-Saints and a plant to convert this graphite into a battery material for electric vehicles in Bécancour.

All economic stimulus packages for industrialized countries aim to reduce their dependence on China for basic products. This wave will raise the entire resource sector, especially the so-called critical and strategic minerals.

If we don’t take advantage of it, nobody in North America will.

Eric Desoulnier, President and CEO of the Nouveau Monde Graphite

The company is leading the development of a graphite mine in Saint-Michel-des-Saints and a plant to convert this graphite into a battery material for electric cars in Bécancour. Hundreds of millions of investments in the program. The planned schedule is 2023 for the mine and 2025 for the anode equipment plant.

“Our schedules are well aligned with North American manufacturers’ timing, ”says Eric Desaulniers. As long as the project is going according to plan, he says.

The Nouveau Monde Graphite wants to become the leading supplier of battery-grade graphite in North America, with the goal of carbon neutrality in all of its products.

However, the battery supply chain that will equip Ford and GM in the future could be placed in the United States before 2025. The graphite that will power the North American battery manufacturing will come from China, currently the supplier from the industry. It likely will, Erik Desoulnier admits. However, it is dependent on manufacturers’ intent to diversify their supply of graphite, using a local and cleaner source.

The Nouveau Monde Graphite will not replace China as the world’s largest producer, but it will be “good number two,” he says. “We are achieving diversification in sourcing, which is a competitive North American option for a product entirely imported from Asia,” he says. We are very well positioned. ”

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