The Calgary startup aims to provide commercial analysis for investors in the renewable energy sector
A technology startup targeting major investors in renewable energy projects will launch Tuesday as part of the youngest Calgary-based company looking to capitalize on the energy transition.
Orennia offers a variety of commercial analysis for investment and capital allocation in wind, solar and other renewable projects. It just completed a round of funding that attracted US fossil fuel investors. Board chairman Brook Papau declined to give the exact number, but said the Serie A round was raised “in the high individual numbers” by millions of dollars.
It’s the recent rush of investment in Calgary’s technology and cleantech sectors, a ray of hope in a local economy that has been hit hard by half a decade of oil and gas downturn and worsened during the pandemic. As former colleagues at another tech company, Papau and Orennia co-founder Tanya Baeza, chief financial officer, show how the city’s tech sector is maturing by creating the next generation of businesses.
The two worked at RS Energy, which was sold to US data analytics firm Enverus last year as one of the few Calgary tech companies to raise at least $ 1 billion.
“Basically, Calgary is a city that likes to work and solve problems, and Calgary has a lot of talented engineers too. There’s a deep entrepreneurial phase that runs through town and isn’t necessarily related to oil and gas, ”said Papau, who has a background in oil and gas energy research.
“We find we are able to attract the most talented people to the city, and the cost here is some of the lowest that could be in a larger city in North America. So financially, this makes a lot of sense. And we were also able to attract investment funds for our startup. So I think others come to this conclusion too. “
The company’s technology brings together huge amounts of trade, engineering, pricing, transmission and demand data for individual generation projects. Customers such as institutional and private investors can use it to check the profitability of a wind or solar system and create detailed forecasts. Orennia also plans to offer publications that highlight its analysis.
The company currently has 10 employees and intends to increase this to 30 by the end of the year with its new funding. Investors include Quantum Energy Partners, the Global Reserve Group, NGP Energy Capital, and Texas-based Stronghold Resource Partners.
Joe Bob Perkins, former CEO and chairman of Houston-based midstream oil and gas company Targa Resources Corp., is chairman of Orennia.
With its financing and launch, Orennia joins a list of companies and financial institutions looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions and move on to the energy transition. In late April, Calgary-based oil and gas fund manager JOG Capital changed its name to Carbon Infrastructure Partners and focused on carbon capture, use and storage opportunities. Meanwhile, some investment banks have added cleantech and renewable energy expertise to teams in town that had focused on fossil fuels.
“I see it as the greatest investment opportunity of our life. What you see is that capital is fungible so it can move instantly, and it always moves before where the industry is headed, ”Papau said. “It’s kind of a rationale when you look at these ESGs [environmental, social and governance] and sustainable fund flows and the massive exponential growth of these funds, ie the economy that is changing gears. That’s the first thing you see when an economy fundamentally changes to address a problem. “
Jeffrey Jones writes about sustainable finance and the ESG sector for The Globe and Mail. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.